EMILY MOBERLY’S STORY: HOW TRAVELING STORIES BEGAN
At 22 years old I found myself teaching English to a bunch of high school students at a bilingual school in Honduras.
I was a tough teacher who, for a period of several months, made my students write essays every day.
One morning I was sitting at my desk reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” (one of the only books I brought with me to Central America. One of my over achieving students interrupted me to turn in her essay early.
“Why are you reading,” she asked with a slight tone of disgust. “You’re the teacher. You could be doing anything.”
Obviously she had never read this book, I thought to myself. So I began to tell my student about Jem and Atticus and Scout. Before you knew it, the entire class was listening. If you have experience with teenagers, then you know this in and of itself was a minor miracle.
I asked my students to tell me about one of their favorite books. Only one raised her hand. The rest confessed they had never read for fun and didn’t have a favorite book.
I did some research and found that our city had almost no access to books. There was just a small bookstore and an inadequate library that was barely open.
No wonder my students had never fallen in love with reading! They had grown up without books.
When I went home to California for Christmas I used all my extra cash to buy books at used book stores. I filled my suitcase with everything I could find from Goosebumps to Catcher in the Rye. I introduced my ragamuffin collection to my classes as Ms. Moberly’s Library.
It took a few weeks, but eventually they fell in love with it! Most of my 87 students found a book that they connected with. I got to watch them fall in love with reading for the first time.
It changed their attitude toward reading and made them more imaginative!
My students inspired me to start Traveling Stories to give that same experience to children all over the world and even here in my own backyard.
Since I was a child, books have been one of my best friends. Reading has not only been a source of comfort and escape, but it’s also provided the skills and information I needed to turn my dreams into reality.
Through Traveling Stories I get to inspire imaginations and provide kids’ with the literacy skills they need to turn their own dreams into reality.
Emily Moberly’s Recent Awards:
- Woman of the Year (finalist) – San Diego Magazine 2015
- Small Business Contest Finalist – Microsoft – 2015, 2016
- Emerging Leader Finalist – eWomen Network – 2015
- Women Who Mean Business (finalist) – San Diego Business Journal 2015, 2012
- Young Alumni of the Year – John Brown University – 2014
- Leadership Award – 10 News & LEAD San Diego 2014
- San Diego Hero – San Diego Family Magazine – 2013
- Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs in San Diego – Forbes 2012
Love what we do? If you are interested joining us in helping kids in their fight against poverty, you can make a one-time donation or become one of our Reading Warriors with a monthly recurring donation.
$10 to you may represent a fancy drink with an umbrella, but to us and the kids we serve it’s one full month of our reading program! And a changed life…