Emma Gordon - Grade 9, Oakwood High School
Reading Warms the Heart
There’s an astonishing feeling about grasping a book and gazing over the jumbles of letters that form words, and words that form sentences, then somehow these simple things take you into a whole new world. Dr. Seuss once said, “You can find magic wherever you look, Sit back and relax, all you need is a book”. This sense of magic and excitement is what drew me into all kinds of reading since I was young, and really changed the way I thought of helping others forever.
My fifth grade year I discovered I had to participate in volunteer work for school. Being the rather selfish ten year old I was, the idea of spending my time on other people repelled me. My mom told me we would go and get my hours the following day, I fell asleep despairing the next day. The next morning I woke up and sauntered down the steps, a mere ten minutes later my mother and I were exiting our house. We drove to the local child care, this worried me since I wasn’t too fond of young kids, even though I was one myself. I shuffled into the building; head down attempting to avoid eye contact with everyone I passed. This was when I learned what my job was going to be: to read to the little kids of the daycare. I was lead into a room with soft, cloud-like floors and a large stool in the center. A teacher walked in leading a group of young kids. The kids all plopped down on the floor as I was handed the book I was going to read, “Oh The Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss. The expectant eyes that stared up at me like a gleaming, colorful sea. The corners of their mouths tucked into small grins, exhilarated to hear a new story, with the hopes that this will be the best yet. The optimism from these kids excited me to make their day better, to gift the magical feeling of experiencing a new story. My brain scans over the words while they escape from my lips, “Congratulations, Today is your day…”. With this simple statement, the children’s attention was hooked on to me awaiting for the enchantment in the tale to come alive. Soon enough the kids’ eyes were not the only ones glowing with joy, so were mine. I truly learned that helping others could lead to happiness for everyone involved. By doing a small deed, such as reading a book to young kids, I could brighten not only that day for the children, but my whole week. The idea of the small smiles I received along with the bright eyes glancing up at me filled my thoughts and would make me ecstatic. For helping others is similar to reading a perfect book, the magical happiness draws you in and leaves you wanting more.