Sixth Graders

Sixth Graders Remember a Classmate

Whenever we bring our literacy program to a school, we never know whose life David’s story will deeply touch. In the fall of 2008, I was in San Jose, CA, at McKinley Elementary, where Comcast sponsored a Reading Makes A Difference program. Second grade teacher Lydia Adidijaja told me about Bentley, a student she mentored in first grade, who was now coping with an inoperable form of brain cancer

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Erik’s Story

“I have that book,” the first grader said quietly, “and the doll. I got them when I was at the hospital.” I don’t always get to meet the children cheered up by The Jester book and doll.

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Amber’s Story

When Amber Delos Santos walked up to say hello, she looked as if she had just stepped out of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle. Dressed in a medieval costume as part of her school’s celebration of characters in literature, she looked like she and The Jester & Pharley lived in the same kingdom.

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A Birthday Surprise in Compton

Turning around to see 891 students, teachers and administrators at Jefferson Elementary School in Compton, CA, sing “Happy Birthday” to me a few years ago lit up my sky. But then came the Roman candles. These dedicated students – 87% of whom are on the government-assisted lunch program – gave The Jester & Pharley Phund a check for $669 to give Jester books and dolls to hospitalized children.

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Thinking of Two Special Moms

Whenever Mother’s Day approaches, I always think of two special moms — Autumn Fennell and Wendy Fachon. Each had to hear the words no mother wants to hear: “Your son has brain cancer.” Each has had to watch her son struggle through its cruelty. For Autumn, the ordeal began when her son was 2. For Wendy, the ordeal began when her son was 19.

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