Monday, December 11, 2006

A Teacher At Heart

From The Morning Call

Clay Aiken reads students’ book, treats young authors like American Idols

Like they did before a school assembly in May, the 19 Lower Nazareth Elementary student authors sat excitedly waiting for the program to start.

Some of the 5th graders knew what they were there for, of course, the VIP seating in Nazareth Area High School's auditorium and blown-up drawings of book pages giving away that the gathering was related to their special project.

Yes, they were going to be honored for "Our Friend Mikayla," the story they wrote and illustrated about their classmate who has brain damage and cerebral palsy.

The authors were right, but what they and the rest of the elementary school learned at just after 9 o'clock this morning is that the honoring would be done by American Idol finalist Clay Aiken.

Busloads of children -- the entire elementary school in fact -- filled the auditorium, and they listened attentively as Aiken read the book that tells the story of Mikayla Resh, a girl who loves lollipops and cheerleading and American Idol.

Aiken is founder of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, a nonprofit he started with the goal of having children with disabilities fully included in everyday activities and events. His foundation paid for the cost of printing the books.

"This is a prime example of what we want to do … spreading the word of inclusion" said Aiken.

The fifth graders, he said, were perfect messengers.

After the assembly, Aiken hosted a private question-and-answer session with the authors that concluded with yet another treat: The singer had arranged for the children to return to the elementary school in limousines.
-- reporting by Arlene Martínez, The Morning Call

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At 4:55 AM, Blogger Carolina Clay said...


Love the way you have presented the Morning Call story! The slide show with captions is very effective. This is a really special man we love and support.

Many thnx for being such a faithful reader. Knowing how busy you are, I especially appreciate your comments.

Have a great week!



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