From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

June 30

Ronny had a speech impediment, wasn’t reading or writing at grade-level, and had already been held back a year, making him eight years old in the first grade. His home life was a shambles.

I worked with all the students in the class on a one-on-one basis; by the end of the year, Ronny had made some progress, but hardly enough to bring him up to grade level. He was the only one who didn’t know that, though.

A few weeks before the school year ended, I held an awards ceremony. I presented Ronny with his certificate for “Most Improved Reader” and a book—one of those Little Golden Books that cost 49 cents at the grocery store checkout. It was, I found out, the first book he had ever actually owned.

I asked Ronny to read to me, and he did—with more expression, clarity and ease than I’d ever thought possible. When he finished, he closed his book, stroked the cover and said with great satisfaction,“Good book.”

At that moment I knew I would try to do what that author had done—care enough to write a story that changes a child’s life.

Judith A. Chance

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