Marcus Kinnon: A Short Story

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When Marcus Kinnon was four years old, his mother had him enrolled in the HeadStart Program. The HeadStart program is similar to a lower-level pre-school, but also acted as a daycare. Marcus was able to read at very young age. To his first teacher, Ms. Shirley Cliff his innate ability to do so was extremely astounding.
Marcus recalls his first teacher to be a strict but fair woman. During most school days, while the children had nap-time, Ms. Cliff would take out her daily newspaper and read to herself. However, one of her students did not participate in nap-time. Every day, four-year-old Marcus would sit up on his plastic red and blue mat and try to read his teacher’s newspaper. Understandably, Ms. Cliff thought the little child was being
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Deontey was a shy boy and in addition had trouble looking people directly in the eyes when speaking. So, when his troubled student raised his head and met his teacher 's gaze head on, shock resonated through Marcus. After a few moments he asked his student, “Can you read?”
His twelve-year-old student answered, “No sir.” His gaze never faltering.
When asked to describe his feelings in that moment upon hearing that answer, Marcus said it had to be felt to be understood. He said he could feel his heart breaking and fought the urge to cry. The thoughts running through his mind consisted of ‘How could they let him pass on?’ and ‘How was he this old and not able to read?’
However, the most prominent one was ‘Why?’
After that day, Marcus decided he would take it upon himself to teach Deontey how to read. He went out and purchased his student a CD player and a headset for his class. So while his peers were reading out loud, Deontey followed along at his own pace. As time went on, he realized that his student did not even know cite words (e.g. cat, bat, hat, etc.). He also made time to teach Deontey the sounds of words (e.g. the alphabet). Gradually, Deontey was able to recognize sounds and the words associated with them. It was nearing Christmas time when Marcus decided to buy Deontey a book for him practice with over the holiday. Furthermore, his student did practice. For by the time his sixth grade year was over, he could read. Deontey went on to have Mr. Kinnon as a English-Language Arts teacher for his seventh and eighth grade years. When Deontey graduated from the eighth grade he was on grade
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