Grade School Friends Reconnect with Their Teacher Through Books

Have you ever heard the expressions, “Reading is Fundamental,” and “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste?” Both are absolutely true, because reading is essential in keeping our brains active. Almost everything we do requires the ability to read, and to respond accordingly. Books teach us, touch us, and take us places we’ve never been. They provide an escape from our daily routines and hectic schedules, and they inspire us to take action to improve our lives. For many of us, lifestyle changes, particularly in regard to our health, are the direct result of reading and making the decision to live a healthier, happier life.

In the spring of 2014, four African American men and women, who have been friends since elementary school, decided to form a book club, as a way to stay connected and to motivate one another to read. They named their club, Bonding Through Books, and decided to meet monthly to discuss the latest book read. These friends, who have had a thirst for knowledge since their elementary school years, meet over lunch at a destination chosen by the member responsible for the latest book selection. “Breaking bread” together provides the perfect setting for stimulating discussions, where all opinions are valued and respected.

This past spring, the club extended a special invitation to, Mrs. Mary Taylor Doakes, a former elementary school teacher and principal in Jefferson County, West Virginia. In the 1960s, “Mary,” as she prefers to be called, taught the other book club members when they were students at Eagle Avenue Elementary School in Charles Town. Mary and the other faculty at Eagle Avenue emphasized the importance of reading, and the value of a good, quality education. They provided a solid academic foundation for their students, and encouraged everyone to always reach for higher goals in life.

Although Mary is approaching 80 years old, and all the other book club members (Linda B., Karen B., David B., and James G.) are in their 60s, their passion for reading is still going strong. Each member shares a simple philosophy on life, which is to trust God in all things, and to always treat others with dignity and respect. If you’re interested in joining our book club, contact James Green, Jr. via e-mail. Take care, and be blessed through books!