Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Spreading a love for reading and writing

By
From page B7 | March 24, 2014 |

It was an offer I wouldn’t refuse. My husband is a newspaper editor. For Read Across America Day (March 3), the newspaper where he works signed up to send volunteers to read to school children.

“I signed you up, too,” he told me. “You can go with me.”

And so I did. We arrived at Wendell P. Williams Elementary School in Las Vegas, and were escorted to separate classrooms. The plan was easy: We would each read for 20 minutes in two classrooms, one after the other.

My first assignment was with Ms. Kirkbride’s third-graders. They were just finishing a math game. It was “Crazy Hair Day” at the school and Ms. Kirkbride was wearing a bushy green wig.

But it wasn’t the wig that held her students’ interest. It was her energy, enthusiasm and obvious love for learning. And, OK, who would dare cross a woman wearing a bushy green wig?

She offered me a choice of books. I picked “Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies” by Harriet Peck Taylor. It’s a Native American folktale about a lazy coyote and a sneaky bunch of butterflies. Somehow it made me think of my family.

I sat on a sofa and the children sat on the floor around my feet with their sweet, shining faces upturned and hopeful.

I wish you could’ve seen them.

I felt like the Queen of Reading. If you’ve ever read to a child, I bet you’ve felt it, too.

They knew the story, but hung on the words the way little ears (and big ones, too) always love to hang a good story well told.

When it ended (with a feast) we talked for a while. Their eyes turned to saucers when I told them I live on the edge of the city by the open desert and often hear coyotes near my house.

I didn’t want to leave. But they had other things to do, other stories to explore. And it was time for my next assignment.

Mr. Richardson and his fifth-graders were hard at work when I arrived. Two of my children are teachers. I know that while teachers always appreciate volunteers, they still have a lot of ground they need to cover.

But Mr. Richardson welcomed me graciously with his smile and his students followed in kind.

I decided to read something from a book that I wrote some years ago. But first I told them a few things about my family.

• My stepfather left school as a boy to go to work to support his family after his father died. He never learned to read or write, but vowed his children would not suffer the same handicap.

• My brother, from birth, was totally blind. He learned to read Braille at the state school for the deaf and the blind, not with his eyes, but with his fingers.

• My grandmother taught me to read before I started school. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I’d grow up to earn my living as a writer.

They listened intently as I told them all that. Then I showed them my book and read this:

“We read and write to know and to be known. It has been that way a very long time and I expect it always will.

“It works like this: You take thoughts and feelings from your mind and heart and even from your soul, and fashion them into words. That is called language.

“You put the words on paper or a computer screen, using symbols and marks that you trust to carry your meaning. That is called writing.

“Then someone who’s never seen your face or heard your voice will see your symbols and marks and recognize them as words. That is called reading.

“Sometimes, unpredictably, the words hold the power to recreate the writer’s thoughts and feelings in the mind and the heart and even in the soul of the reader. That is called a miracle.”

Some do it for love. Some do it for money. And some of us, if we’re lucky, get to do it for the students at Wendell P. Williams Elementary School in Las Vegas.

And truly, that is a miracle.

Reach Sharon Randall at P.O. Box 777394, Henderson, NV 89077, or at www.sharonrandall.com.

Sharon Randall

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

 
Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

 
Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics