These brothers are dedicated to readingPublished 3:57pm Monday, September 23, 2013
By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
Both Canaan Bradley and his brother, Caleb, are avid readers, but cannot be relegated to the bookworm category, as both have a well-rounded slate of activities due to their very involved parents, Walt Bradley and Dr. Vicki Masear, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Vincent’s East.
“We began reading to the boys when they were just babies, even before they were talking,” Masear told me. “Everything I’ve heard and read says that if you read to your children, they’ll enjoy reading; if you show no interest, neither will they.”
One of the earliest books they read over and over, one the boys can still recite from memory is Dr. Seuss’s Ten Apples On Top.
“We read baby Bible stories, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. We read until they were asleep.”
At Briarwood, both garnered reading awards. In second grade, Canaan, now 8, read the most books in the entire school.
“43,300+ pages,” Masear said with a sigh. “Someone had to tabulate the early books that have no page numbers. One year I left it to the last minute to count the pages and I sat for two days counting pages. Now I do it every night, no matter how late it is.”
Both boys are brown belts in Tai Kwon Do and on the swim team and Canaan plays basketball and soccer. Playing soccer forward or goalie, he says, is his favorite sport currently. They are members of Cub Scout Troop 532.
The Bradley-Masears are a vegetarian family and built their house in the Helena countryside about 19 years ago. They have a small pond and Walt has taught the boys to enjoy fishing.
“We believe that if you can read you can do anything,” Masear asserts. “We emphasize that over all their other activities.”
The family is in and out of the library every two or three days. This past summer, they started in the A authors and continued book by book along the shelves.
“Canaan is very shy, but he learns very quickly. When he started daycare, his teacher was amazed to learn after three months how well he could speak. Until that point his teacher thought he could not talk.”
Canaan, who says he wants to be a builder or a doctor, just announced to his parents that he wants to read even more books next year!