I enjoyed reading the thoughtful Tribute about William Jewell College professor emeritus of communication Georgia Bessie Bowman “College teacher guided many” (12/18 obituaries) and the letter about “Books make great gifts” that appeared in the Dec. 18 Star Local section.
A great teacher like Georgia is like a good Christmas gift that can last a lifetime.
I was a student who appreciated both communication and writing teachers in 1976-79, during my education at Bonner Springs High School, and then 1979-83 at the University of Kansas. I ended up becoming an adjunct instructor in speech and English at Kansas City Kansas Community College from 1987-2005. And I have been a part-time, freelance sports journalist for more than 25 years. I believe my gifted teachers developed a gifted writer. Both are wonderful blessings to think about this Christmas.
I also think books do make great gifts, especially for children now that so many toys have become problems for families due to the recalls. Today I still enjoy laughing at Dr. Seuss, feeling tenderhearted over Winnie the Pooh, relating to all the Charlie Brown characters and appreciating many old Walt Disney stories. Stories from movies like “Bambi” and “Mary Poppins” I hope never leave the shelves.
Gift of reading
How wonderful to feature the importance of reading to children on the front page! Reading together with your children at bedtime or anytime helps prepare them for success in school. Reading, talking and holding your children nourishes the developing brain, builds vocabulary and encourages self-confidence. Reading together can instill a lifelong love of reading and learning.
You are your child’s first, most important and influential teacher. Taking just 10 minutes from your busy day to explore a book with your child will make a difference. Talk to your kids when you’re riding in the car or shopping. Play and laugh with them, read with your children — enjoy the work of preparing them for lifelong success.
The Family Conservancy is committed to helping families raise children. You will find more tips for championing children’s healthy development by visiting our Web site at www.thefamilyconservancy.org.
Betsy Vander Velde
Executive director, the Family Conservancy