Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Vision for Darke County (by Elizabeth Horner)

When I think of Thomas Edison, I also see Miss Sure Shot and that image of Edison filming Darke County's Annie as she repeatedly took an aim at her targets --- and Annie's motto that practice, practice, and practice will eventually make you hit the bull's eye of success. Thomas Edison himself said that a genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. Recently, I read an article about Shay LaFollette with big medals around her neck from national and state competitions in high jump, long jump, etc. She described her backyard where she spends much of her time training and practicing for track and field. Recently, there have been articles about the Matt Light Foundation and the campground he is building in Darke County to help kids build their skills and strength and develop their leadership potentials through rigorous activities and practice.

When I was much younger, my Mom and I were waiting in line at the check out counter when a gentleman saw my big stack of books that I was buying and said, "...that's great kid ... you can learn anything you want to learn if you keep on reading." He said that I can be anything I want to be...." I know that I have learned so much by reading and by putting them into practice, and persevering. I am happy where I am in my stage of life and the progress that I am making in the vocation I am pursuing ---in creative writing. Somehow I think that I will reach my destiny if I just don't quit and I keep on practicing. Indeed, reading has been one of the key ingredients for me.

And I have this vision --- to build in Darke County a generation of kids with a different but great appreciation for reading involving a wide genre of books: history, sports, science and yes, fiction and fantasy books. Good fiction or fantasy books can communicate great lessons of real life, and about history, science, sports that are fun and entertaining to young readers' mind. That's what I want to be ... a fiction and fantasy books writer. You see great Americans were introduced in my life through historical fiction books at a very young age and I learned to appreciate and to desire to know more about those famous Americans later on in my life in that manner --- famous Americans like Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Dr. Seuss, our American Presidents, Annie Oakley, and many others that I got to know so much about as I got older.

Through forming good habit (or practice), I believe that kids of Darke County will reach their great aspirations in life. Adults need to help, just like what you read on the walls of YMCA, to build their "... body, mind, and spirit". Reading is one great way to build the skills of the mind.

I hope that parents will encourage their kids to read for the rest of this summer. And just like kids write to Santa, please encourage them to write to the "Reading Fairy" at P.O. Box 263, Greenville, OH 45331. If your kids include the books they have read this summer, and why he/she loves to read those books, there is a chance to receive a big basket of school supplies from the "Friends of the Reading Fairy", a $30 dollar gift certificate from Jay and Mary Bookstore, and one big surprise gift. Some previous winners received a large telescope, collectable silver coins, photo-ops with a national celebrity, a restaurant gift certificate for a family valued at $100; and educational bonds. So kids, what do you say...get ready, start, read!!!

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