This 4 Year Old Knows a Thing Or Two About Literature
Preschooler Daliyah Marie Arana of Gainesville, Ga., has read more than 1,000 books.
At the age of just 2 years and 11 months, she read her first book on her own.
The 4 year old caught the attention of Carla Hayden, the first woman and first African-American to hold the post as Librarian of Congress, who invited Daliyah to shadow her as "librarian for the day."
Dressed in a pink dress, matching bow, and glasses, Daliyah toured the hallways of the world's largest library and had the chance to sit in on executive roundtable meetings.
"She just kept saying how the Library of Congress is her most favorite, favorite, favorite library in the whole wide world," Daliyah's mom Haleema Arana said.
The library staff asked the 4 year old for recommendations for the grounds and she suggested they install whiteboards in the library hallways, The Washington Post reports, so that children like her can practice writing on them.
Growing up around her family constantly reading, Daliyah listened to her mother read books to her brothers while in the womb and then listened as her brothers read chapter books aloud in their home. Around 18 months old, she began to recognize the words she was hearing.
“I like to check out books every day," Daliyah said.
"I want to teach other kids to read at an early age, too," Daliyah told the Gainesville Times.
Her favorite writer is Mo Willems, who is the author of "Pigeon" and the "Elephant and Piggie" series.
Haleema got the idea to start the counting the number of books Daliyah was reading when she was about 3 years old through the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. At the time, Haleema said she likely had already read 1,000 books, but has since met the goal and aims to read 1,500 before the time she begins kindergarten next fall. She even hopes to "help the teacher teach the other kids how to read," Haleema said.
Daliyah has her own library card at her hometown's local library, the Hall County Library in Gainesville. Her parents believe she is capable of reading books that her 10- and 12-year-old siblings read in school, only occasionally getting stuck on the bigger words.
Challenging her abilities, Haleema gave her a college-level text, a speech called "The Pleasure of Books" by William L. Phelps. In a YouTube video, Daliyah has quickly learned to read it aloud, even pronouncing words such as "punctiliousness."
Picking up media attention, Daliyah has been asked to recite Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in an upcoming celebration in her hometown.
In her bilingual home, her father, Miguel Arana, often speaks to her in Spanish tongue, and although she can't quite speak the language fluently yet, she can understand many words and hopes to read in Spanish.
The young dinosaur lover hopes to someday be a paleontologist while continuing her reading mission.
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Photo Credit: Facebook/The Library of Congress