• Jennifer Widemire Smith

Once Upon A Time, A Little Girl Made A Wish To Read...

Updated: Sep 22, 2018

There once was a little girl who loved books. Everywhere she went she took a book with her. Even when she went to sleep her books slept alongside her. She would sit and stare at the pictures and words and wondered what they said.

“Oh I cannot wait to read!” She would say.

In preschool this little girl learned the abc song. She sang it every day. And every night. She sang it in the bathtub. She sang it the car. She sang it to her dolls and her puppy.

In kindergarten the little girl learned which letters made up her name and how to write them. She drew her name on everything. The walls. The bathtub. Her mommy’s journals. Her daddy’s computer. She drew the letters with paint, crayons, markers, and sidewalk chalk.

She was very proud of her name! But she had a secret. She only liked to write the big L’s in her name. She thought the little L’s were boring.

Sometimes in class, when her teacher tried to show her how the letters can make other words she got confused. She couldn’t remember all the rules to the letters even though she tried very hard. It made her very sad. She wanted to learn the words sooo much. She had books in her bed. In her closet. In her toy chests tucked away waiting for her to learn.

Her favorite books were ones you could shine flashlights behind and ones about an elephant named, "Gerald" and a piggie named, "Piggie." She giggled and laughed whenever her mommy or daddy would read them to her.

“Again!” She would say. “Again Mommy! Do the voices too!”

Her mommy would read them until the little girl had memorized every single word written. The pictures gave her clues. Then she would sit and tell the stories to her dollies and puppy.

The next year was first grade. She met her teacher on Meet the Teacher Night.

“Hello Little One. My name is Mrs W and I’m going to teach you to read this year!”

“Yessssss!” The little girl exclaimed.

On her first day of school. She kissed her puppy and waved goodbye to her dolls. She was so excited. But the little girl found reading much harder than she’d hoped. Her friends seemed to understand it easier than she could. This made her sad. Sometimes she sat at her table and cried.

Her teacher was very kind and would come over to the little girl with tissues. The teacher would hold the little girl until she felt better and could try again. This time with the teacher’s help.

Reading kept getting harder for the little girl. There were many words to learn. Sometimes it felt like too many. How would she ever learn so much?

The little girl’s teacher told her mom that her brain was special and needed a special place, with special knowledge, special teachers, and extra special abilities to teach the little girl how to read.

The little girl thought it sounded like a magical place. She wanted to go there so much!

But her mommy and daddy could not afford to send her. She asked if the pennies and quarters in her piggie bank was enough. Her mommy shook her head no. The little girl was sad.

As mommy kissed her forehead goodnight the little girl made a wish. “I wish I could read like all my friends. Like my big brother.” The little girl’s mommy heard her wish. Her mommy wanted to make it come true. So her mommy thought. And thought. And thought. Then her mommy prayed. And prayed. And prayed. Then her mommy had an idea...

Her mommy wrote a note to all her friends. In the note she asked for help. One by one her friends sent gifts to an enchanted back called, gofundme. Even the little girl’s teachers sent their coins. Some gave a little. Some gave a lot. Some even asked their friends to give and they did. Each gave what they were able to give.

The special place with the special teachers learned of the little girl’s wish. They called her mommy and told her they would help her find ways to stretch every single penny her friends had given and that the little girl could start after Christmas.

That little girl’s name is Lyla Grace Smith

Merry Christmas Little One. You start tutoring when you go back to school.

Many many many thanks for all the support and financial gifts to make this special need happen!

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