Cinderella Girl

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Catching a glimpse of storming kids rushing into the room, I felt overwhelmed that I was going to be bombarded with books in my face to read to these kids. Soaring from ages three to maybe eleven or twelve, these kids all anticipated to being read to or reading to a person they chose. I was a bit worried I was not going to get picked. Even after two minutes or so I still had no one to read to! There I was sitting in a little rectangular quilt on the floor with a few books I thought might be fun to read. What if I stayed there lonesome for a whole hour with no one to read with? I could imagine just reading to myself finding it quite humorous. My friend sitting next to me, who also did not have anyone to read to, just told me sometimes it takes awhile for a kid to come. As the minutes passed, I saw this small girl shyly walking towards my way with a few books clutched tight between her infant arms.

Read To Me, a program that reads and donates books to homeless children in central Phoenix, gives the opportunity to many volunteers in the city to come and read to these children. I thought this might be sweet to go out and show my awesome, impressive dramatized way of reading books. At least that was what I thought. With a jump of hope, I put an immense grin on my face and waved to capture the small girl’s attention. She definitely saw me and gave a little smile while she skipped my way. I nervously asked her what her name was even though she had a named tag that read Nata. I tried to hide my timidness behind a smile and asked her questions like, “How old are you? What’s your favorite book?” She handed me her favorite book, Cinderella, with an excited look in her face.

And I began reading to this small child, not capable to read yet, about a story of misfortune that led to happiness. Far in to the story, I read with exhilaration and emotion as I saw her jaw drop with her two small hands on each side of her mouth awestricken to what happened to Cinderella; from being a servant, to being happily ever after with her prince charming. When I finally finished the story, I had not noticed it had almost been an hour. I guess we had too much fun with that book! I told Nata she could take three books she liked most and keep them, just how the director had told us before the kids came in. “Holy cow!” she screeched with excitement grinning from ear to ear.

I was definitely happy I had a chance to read to Nata and everyone who read to the many others. I realized that even if these kids are not as fortunate now, they will learn and keep going forward in life to reach happiness, just like Cinderella did. Read to Me was absolutely a heartwarming experience to me and would love to go again. As I saw Nata walking out of those doors, I felt a sense of accomplishment and joy for being able to touch a life even if it was in a simple way like reading a book to a small kid.





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