A local retired educator didn’t lose her love of teaching when she left the classroom.
Naomi Pouchie, a longtime Throggs Neck resident, worked in public elementary schools and then in parochial schools for more than 25 years before retiring in 2012.
Since then, she has self-published two picture books that are written specifically to help children learn to read.
Pouchie said she wanted to become a teacher since she was a young child, and first started working in schools as a teaching assistant. After completing her degrees—Pouchie was the first in her family to graduate college—she worked as a early education literacy and math specialist and then finally as kindergarten teacher for 12 years.
“It’s something I’ve always loved to do,” said Pouchie.
As a kindergarten teacher, Pouchie was teaching the very basic building block of education, like how to hold a pencil, write your name, and sound out very simple words.
“A lot of students came in not knowing these things,” she said.
Pouchie used her knowledge of how children learn to write a book series designed specifically for students who are just starting to read.
The series of picture books about two cats, called ‘The Adventures of Harry and Bobo,’ has large print so the kids can follow along to a read-a-loud. Pouchie also used basic sentence structure and repeats key words throughout the book, which enhance the learning process.
The stories about the cat’s adventures also include possibilities for a range of lessons on subjects like numbers, directions, colors and seasons.
Years of reading to students also provided her insight in to what type of books young kids are drawn to, leading her to write about animals, while incorporating richly colored illustrations. The book’s art was furnished by Pouchie’s husband, Steven.
“It’s a fun book for children,” she said.
Pouchie wants to take the books and do read alouds at local schools and libraries, continuing her commitment to help young students learn. She is already working on the third book in the series, and she plans for there to be seven in total.
More information about the books can be found at www.harryandbobo.com.