Time to Read September 2020

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The Rag Coat, writ¬≠ten by Lau¬≠ren A. Mills, was a favourite of mine to read to my class¬≠es at Thanks¬≠giv¬≠ing Time. Our Cana¬≠di¬≠an Thanks¬≠giv¬≠ing is in a cou¬≠ple of weeks, with the hol¬≠i¬≠day south of our bor¬≠der in less than a month‚Äôs time. What will Thanks¬≠giv¬≠ing mean to you this year? In the time of this pan¬≠dem¬≠ic, we are to be remind¬≠ed to look for bless¬≠ings, how¬≠ev¬≠er small.

The focus in my class¬≠room in Octo¬≠ber was on being thank¬≠ful what you had and the need to be kind to oth¬≠ers in need. The father‚Äôs com¬≠ment in the book that ‚ÄúPeo¬≠ple only need peo¬≠ple, and noth¬≠ing else.‚ÄĚ is a valu¬≠able les¬≠son indeed. As Kiwa¬≠ni¬≠ans, we are always in need of increas¬≠ing our mem¬≠ber¬≠ship to help oth¬≠ers less for¬≠tu¬≠nate than ourselves.

The young girl in the sto¬≠ry is called Min¬≠na. Her fam¬≠i¬≠ly couldn‚Äôt afford a coat for her but her Papa kept her warm in win¬≠ter with a burlap sack and her Mama‚Äôs patch¬≠work quilt wrapped around her. Lit¬≠tle eight- year-old Min¬≠na start¬≠ed school after her father‚Äôs pass¬≠ing but she had no coat to wear. Her neigh¬≠bors con¬≠tributed scraps from their fam¬≠i¬≠ly rem¬≠nants to make a patch¬≠work coat, lined with the old sack her father would wrap her in. Her class¬≠mates teased her about her unusu¬≠al coat but soon learned what bits of their his¬≠to¬≠ry were apart of it.

This is a touch­ing sto­ry, ide­al for 7 to 10 years old. I made a mis­take in select­ing The Rag Coat one year as our club’s dona­tion and Readaloud for our local ele­men­tary schools. One Kiwan­ian scold­ed me after vol­un­teer­ing in a class­room, say­ing that he couldn’t get through read­ing the sto­ry to the chil­dren with­out tear­ing up…I took that as high praise!

Hap­py Reading,

Julia Levine 

 

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