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Mrs. Valerie Smith – Copperview Elementary

Dear KSL,

Valerie teaches in the “Title One” reading program at Copper View Grade School. She has been helping the children to read for a number of years there. She is looked up to by her colleagues and respected at school because she shows that she really cares about the children and goes the extra m;ile to help her students achieve. The students’ desires to learn are rewarded with her caring nature and natural ability to teach, and leave her with a greater ability to read. However, she continues to work quietly in the background, without a lot of recognition for the help that she gives them, and the great impact it could have in their educational experience throughout their lives.

She has raised her own large family of 10 children and often, helps in the care of her 18 grandchildren. She gives up, so much of her free time even after working hard at school, so that she can be with them. It is evident that they love her. This is an important thing to know, to, more fully, understand the magnitude of this teacher’s service and the impact, for good, that it has upon so many others.

In the beginning of this school year, she learned of a little girl in her neighborhood who was struggling with her reading. She often seemed to be in her own little world and keeping her attention was sometimes difficult.

Although she has a wonderful First Grade teacher, the students, usually, outnumber the teacher 25 to 1. There is not always enough time to give the individual help that some children really need to learn to read, and the “Title One” p;rogram was not available in the little girl’s school.

Valerie volunteered her services to help this child with her reading. So, for about an hour a day, five days a week, after school, and sometimes while her grandchildren were gathered around her, or in her arms, Valerie worked to improve the little girls reading and comprehension skills.

She would never accept any compensation fo the many, many hours of

Her precious time or even for the visual aids and rewards she used to help teach and inspire this little child to read. She said that, “It is what I love to do”. The little girl that she, gave so much of her time and talents too, is my own daughter.

Now she is a much different little girl than the shy, quiet one that, sometimes, seemed to be off in her own little world. He whole outlook in life has charged upwards towards the possibilities. She is more confident in her ability to read and write. Now she believes that she is smart. She is reading on grade level or better, and she likes, not only to read books, but to write them. It’s wonderful to see her able to express some of her own ideas and feelings in story form so well!!

Maybe, someday, her own books, will wind up on a library shelf for another child to read and enjoy.

Please help us to say “Thank You” to a teacher that doesn’t think she needs to be thanked and quietly, continues to help so many children, including my own daughter, to learn to “Read to Succeed”.