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91-year-old cherishes time reading to school kids

2:16 PM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
Forrest Waldrop
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91-year-old Forrest Waldrop packs up a book bag three times a week, and walks from his home to the near-by elementary school. He says it's important to him to get children reading early, and for the pre-K classes that means being read to.

Waldrop's earliest memory of going to school is a poem he memorized in fourth grade.

"It was a about a boy who helped a lady across the street," said Waldrop.

For dozens of Pleasant Ridge Elementary School children, their earliest memory of school may one day be of him.

The 91-year-old visits the students three times a week., to share stories, and lessons.

"Every book has somebody who wrote it, this is written by Karen Lewis," he told the class.

"He started coming to school at the beginning of the year. I wanted him in my room because I think that my kids, being four, need that adult interaction," said teacher Kim Ledington.

She says you not only can you hear Waldrop's influence, but you can see it around her classroom.

"He bought us three magazine subscriptions, books," said Ledington, and pointed to several other items that Waldrop has brought in for her students.

"It makes him happy and he makes our lives happy," she said.

"I hope they enjoy it. School for children should be an enjoyable thing," said Waldrop. "At least until second grade, then you start studying."

A lesson perhaps he'll wait a little longer to pass along.

"Ok it's time for me to go now," he said.

"Goodbye, Mr. Waldrop," chorused the students.

At least until next week.

"You're welcome, it was my pleasure," he said.

School is almost out for the summer this year, but Mr. Waldrop says he does plan to volunteer again when class starts back in the fall.

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