The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 19, 2012

Hello, Stanfield third graders

By Brian Graves, Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 — This is an open letter to the third grade students at Stanfield Elementary:

Dear Students,

I had a great time visiting with you last week.

Honestly, it’s not something I get to do an awful lot — talking to kids your age about what I do.

But it makes me feel great that you are all interested in knowing more about writing.

First of all, I think your parents and everyone needs to know just how nice you all were and how well mannered you acted.

I understand none of us are perfect all the time, but I was so impressed at how many of you took the extra second to say, “Thanks for coming,” as I left your classroom.

My grandparents always told me it didn’t cost a penny to be nice, so be sure and keep that habit up.

“Thank you” and “please” aren’t used as much as they should be and I hope you will continue to learn how to be courteous to others.

One thing I learned from my visit is just how smart you guys are.

I mean, you were really giving me questions that made me have to think a little.

One thing you will learn is sometimes you can learn more from the question than the answer.

And I always want you to remember something I have always found to be very important.

There is no such thing as a dumb question.

That’s the only way you can learn. If you don’t know about something — just ask.

You even asked me about my handwriting.

As I showed you, it is not neat and a bit on the sloppy side.

But I am happy to know you will all soon start learning how to write cursive.

Penmanship is a very important skill and I have no doubt you will all take up the challenge and learn how to put pen to paper with great expertise.

By the way, I put the word “expertise” in there just to challenge you with a new word. Look it up in the dictionary, then go out and impress your family and friends!

All of you seemed to really want to be able to write well and that was impressive.

Kids your age don’t remember when there were no computers or cell phones with which to talk to each other.

The ability to communicate with writing is so important. It is because people wrote so much in the past much of the history of our area and country has been preserved for your generation and the children you will have.

We all learn from the past — finding out what works and what doesn’t.

In fact, here’s an idea.

Why don’t you sit down with your parents or grandparents and ask them about when they were your age?

After you do, write about the stories they told you and keep them for the families you will have.

That way they will know the history of your family.

Just a couple of other things I want to share here.

Your parents are very important and care about you. Make sure you do what they tell you, let them know you love them and work hard in school to make them proud.

Also, make sure to respect your teachers.

They do the job they do because they care about kids like you.

Sometimes they may seem a little tough, but it’s only because they want you safe and smart.

I hope you guys have a great Christmas and maybe I can come visit again sometime.

And thanks for the Stanfield shirt you gave me. Every time I wear it, I’ll think about how great you guys are.