A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: on Education

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“What must I do, Mother, what must I do to make a different world for her? How do I start?”

“The secret lies in the reading and the writing. You are able to read. Every day you must read one page from some good book to your child. Every day this must be until the child learns to read. Then she must read every day, I know this is the secret.”

~

“You must tell the fairy tales of the old country. You must tell of those not of the earth who live forever in the hearts of people—fairies, elves, dwarfs and such.”

“Why? When I, myself, do not believe?”

“Because,” explained Mary Rommely simply, “the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination…It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the worlds becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. I, myself, even in this day and at my age, have great need of recalling the miraculous lives of the Saints and the great miracles that have come to pass on earth. Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for.”

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