From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

September 22

In 1966, I brought music and reading to the lives of the “educationally deprived” in southwest Virginia.

My first day I noticed the dirtiest child I had ever seen, sitting isolated from the rest. He didn’t touch the musical instrument I had given him, but I noticed his fingers moved with the beat of the music.

“Oh, that’s just Roscoe,” one of the teachers told me.“He just comes to school so he can have a hot meal every day.” The principal at the high school told me his family was infamous in the area. There was incest, alcoholism, mental illness and various other problems in the clan.

When I walked into the classroom for only the second time, there was Roscoe, sitting in the front row, waiting for the music teacher.

As the year progressed, I took clothes to Roscoe, convinced the teacher to help me clean him up and watched as he began to blossom.

Roscoe learned to read, learned his alphabet and numbers, and showed an artistic nature that was superior to most of the other children in the class. He became part of their games at recess and was no longer looked upon as “different.”

Sue L. Vaughn

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