“Thank you. I really appreciate your help.”
“You are welcome. Now let me send some links to your email so you can read at home.”
Brittany and Emily came back in the room. Immediately Charles noticed that Emily had a band-aid on her thumb. “What happened to her?”
“She got a paper cut playing with a book. She didn’t even cry. We just noticed the blood and saw the cut.” Brittany explained.
Charles took his baby’s hand in his own and brought it gently to his mouth. After several kisses on the boo-boo he let go of her hand. It was obvious to Miss Carolyn that everything Miss Jackie had said about this boy was true. He truly loved that baby.
On the drive home Miss Carolyn couldn’t get Charles out of her mind. He was not at all what she had expected. He was polite and personable. He was more responsible for his baby than most men twice his age. He was truly a good kid who had gotten mixed up in the wrong crowd. Lucky for him, Brittany had loved him enough to intervene. When he spoke it was obvious that he was intelligent. Miss Carolyn noticed dyslexia tenancies as they talked. She asked him about it and he admitted that he had been in a dyslexia program. With that discovery, Miss Carolyn had more faith in his ability to master the GED test. Experience had taught her that people with dyslexia are very intelligent. Their brains just process written language in a different way. If someone reads the material to them, they can learn it.
Over the weekend, Miss Carolyn told her husband about Charles. “Well can you get him some books that he could read?” Dwight asked.
“We would need to go to a large bookstore. Most bookstores don’t carry those books.”
“There are special books?”
“Yes, they are called Hi-Lo books. It stands for High Interest/Low Readability.”
“Well let’s go get some.”
They made a special trip to a large bookstore where Miss Carolyn spent almost an hour selecting books for Charles. It was difficult to find books that he could read, but weren’t written for children. Finally, books in tow, they left the bookstore.
The following week, Miss Carolyn sent Charles a message by way of email that she needed to see him. He made arrangements with his boss to leave work early to see Miss Carolyn. When he walked in the classroom, he had a quizzical look on his face. “Did you want to see me? Is something wrong?”
“No, not at all. I have something for you.” She brought out the books. One by one she showed him the books. They discussed each one. “This one is called Treasure Island. It is a classic. You are going to love it.” Then she showed him two other books. Finally, she looked at him and said, “I saw this one on the way out of the store and I couldn’t leave without it.” She reached in the bag and pulled out a book called My First Book. “This one is for Emily, but I want you to read it to her. Research shows that children who are read to by their parents do better in school.”
The tears in his eyes showed his feelings. “Thank you for getting these books for me. Most of all, thank you for getting that book for Emily. My parents didn’t read to me and I had a hard time in school. I don’t want Emily to have a hard time. I want her to be smart like Brittany. I’ll do anything I can to help her.”
Over the next two months Charles and Miss Carolyn worked hard to help him achieve success on the GED. After he received his diploma, he began applying for better jobs. He was a good worker and it didn’t take long for him to land a job. After a while, he and Brittany married and moved to a larger apartment.
It has been five years since Miss Carolyn taught Charles that with a little change in thinking, he could accomplish anything. Or did Charles teach Miss Carolyn?