Paying it Forward by Danette Vigilante
Something good happened to me in fifth grade— my teacher sparked within me the love of reading, and that gift has never stopped giving.
As an adult, I became a reading volunteer at my local elementary school because of what I had been given all those years ago. His name was John and, like me at his age, he was a poor reader. I wanted more than anything for him to know the excitement and joy of getting lost in a good book. I wanted him to want “just one more page,” to want more when the book was done, to wonder and think about the characters and their lives.
I spent two years, one hour three times a week, with John, building up his reading skills word by word, book by book, giggle by giggle, high fives by high fives. And like a vitamin taken regularly, each story began to strengthen not only John’s skills, but his confidence.
I hope that one day John pays forward what I have given him, and that his gift never stops giving.