MEMPHIS, Tenn. — At only a year old, Gerald Fanion IV has a passion for reading.
“Whenever he grabs a book I’ll stop and read it,” said mom Sha Fanion.
Along the way, he’s picked up more than 500 books.
“He’s like a sponge. The number of words he recognizes is mind-blowing.”
Gerald has become somewhat of a frequent visitor at local libraries and a celebrity on social media. He has his own Instagram account with more followers than many adults.
“We get direct messages like, where did you find this book? How do you choose his books? People even started sending us books for him to read and post to his page.”
Gerald has received books from people he and his parents have never met.
It’s easy to see why. Each post shows the joy on his face while reading, which his mother says started well before he was born.
His mother is a former principal and read dozens of books to him while pregnant. She hopes Gerald’s story encourages other soon-to-be parents to do the same.
“Early literacy is critically important not only to K-12 success but just learning beyond schooling. The more you read to your children the better readers they will become and the more they’ll love reading.”