Friday, March 29, 2019

"A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself." Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes, a story on the news touches the former teacher in me, so I have to share it.  These stories I share are usually about Education, or sometimes, inspiration, or both. I am sharing a beautiful story today that I wish would be practiced by every school in the nation!  With all the stories about teen stress, trauma, and depression, along with broken families and homelessness, some retired folks are helping kids by volunteering in the music department In Rockford, Illinois. These volunteers, the "Band Grandpas." are helping kids to do better at music, school, and life. Really, who couldn't like having another Grandpa!

These volunteers share a lifelong love of music and learning, which they are modeling for a large group of students in band, orchestra, and chorus. Additionally, they work with the students, teaching them that it is OK to make mistakes, and helping them to strengthen their resolve to learn and perform better, along with the knowledge that music is a lifetime activity. 

What a beautiful story!  Students who might not have a grandparent in their lives gain a "Band Grandpa" to help them through school and life.  These "Band Grandpas"  seem to be making a real difference in the lives of these students, and in return, they receive a "thank you" that means more than money. 

I believe this program could be beneficial throughout the United States. Think back to a mentor you had in your youth. An encouraging mentor can make all the difference for a person! A good mentor has the ability to help a person see their own personal strengths, and to build upon them. A mentor helps to put disappointment and failure in perspective, and to turn roadblocks into hope and success through effort. A mentor shows students who they can become. 

If you have not seen this short piece on NBC News, please take a look at this link.  It will make you smile!

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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