Reading program energizes

Published 12:43 am Tuesday, July 16, 2013

John Small Elementary School students in the Read to Learn Summer Camp got to meet the author of one of their assigned books Monday.
Washington author Jerrie Preston Oughton shared her book, “How the Stars Fell Into the Sky,” with nearly 80 rising third-graders who are in their second week of a four-week program established to improve their reading skills by using literacy stations, Text Talk and a computerized program called Fast ForWord.
“I just love their energy, their enthusiasm,” Oughton said after the presentation.
Keith Mitchell, site supervisor of the camp, said students were inspired to see a local person had accomplished such success by working hard.
“It’s always good to see somebody local who has reached a goal and see that goals are attainable,” Mitchell said. “I thought it was great, very entertaining. The kids enjoyed it.”
Armed with puppets and her own set of stars, Oughton shared the children’s book she published in 1992. “How the Stars Fell Into the Sky” is the retelling of a Navajo folktale about how the stars came to be in the sky.
She also shared a few encouraging words. She gave the children three key pieces of advice on how to achieve their dreams.
Oughton told students to have a plan, pay their dues with hard work and never give up on what they want.
“I wrote for 35 years before I ever published anything,” Oughton said.