President’s Corner: Tommy the Storyteller

By Children Rising | February 2, 2017

On Tuesdays, I volunteer at the Excel Reading Clinic at Prescott Elementary. This year, one of the boys I tutor is Tommy, a third-grader. When Tommy walks into the room he flashes me a warm smile and then we do the secret handshake. After taking his seat beside me, we work on sight words then phonics, followed by reading non-fiction and fiction books, which he gets to choose.

During the course of the school year, I usually ask my student– Tommy in this case– to tell me a real or make-believe story, which I write down word for word. Without skipping a beat Tommy began telling me about his recent trip to Disneyland. When he was finished I read his story back to him. What Tommy didn’t know was that I would take my chicken scratch back to my office, transcribe it into a word document and ask Pearl Wang, our office administrator, to add appropriate graphics. Next comes the fun part: returning to school with the finished product. I brought several extra copies to be shared with the principal, his teacher and family members. Tommy was wide-eyed as he pored over his illustrated story in print. Behold the storyteller is now an author! Tommy proceeded to read his own creation articulately with expression. You go, Tommy!

For the children,

Randy Roth



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