Reaping those rewards

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Children attending John Small Elementary School’s Read to Learn Summer Camp were thrilled to meet the author of “How the Stars Fell Into the Sky” on Monday.

As she packed up her puppets and props, Jerrie Preston Oughton was already pitching ideas for another program she could do for the children.

Spending the summer at a desk working on a challenging subject isn’t easy for a rising third-grader. That’s why it makes all the difference to have programs like the one offered Monday. Oughton’s words came to life with her puppet show. She also peppered the presentation with encouragement and tested the children’s comprehension of what they were exposed to that day.

The best part is that this talented writer is a Washington resident. Learning of her success showed the students how tangible their dreams are.

At the end of her presentation, Oughton listened to the careers the children dream of pursuing. She made each of them promise not to give up on those dreams.

You never know how many you can reach if willing to give of yourself and your time, but it all makes a difference, she noted.

Instilling a love of reading at an early age is fundamental to preparing children to be successful in the classroom. After all, reading comes into play when studying history, science, geography, English, foreign languages and, yes, even mathematics. End-of-grade tests and the Scholastic Aptitutde Test evaluate a child’s reading skills, including comprehending what he or she reads. That’s why instilling a respect for reading at an early age is so important. A well-read student is a well-informed student. Reading opens doors to many opportunities, recreational and educational.

If you have the time and the talent, contact Beaufort County Schools and see how you can help. You will reap as many rewards as the children receive.