As I sat in the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford University, watching Nicholas’ graduation ceremony, I wasn’t as emotional as I might have expected. And there’s a reason why:
It takes a village to help a child through the process from non-reader to that of competent, efficient, and independent adult.
There are so many people—a small village, perhaps—to thank who so importantly and positively impacted Nicholas' life.
I was the catalyst for his learning to read in Oxford in 1995. I was behind him when he struggled in second grade, and as a family, my sons lived in a house where books were highly valued. But it was the moving to Lubbock, Texas, where we all saw the biggest change in Nicholas. From 1999 onwards, Nicholas was rarely considered a “slow-learner.” In fact, through building structures with K’NEX, he became the star of the school. In the classroom, teachers believed in him as he engaged not as a regular student, but like a high achiever. It was through the Waters Elementary School librarian, Linda Christenson, where our whole family came to love listening to books on CD, a habit we still maintain today. Listening is so powerful for language improvement. By the time Nicholas was in high school, very few knew of his earlier struggles. The person to whom this was most noticeable was his English teacher, Mrs. Wickersham.
As we know, all education is foundational. Without Lubbock and the wonderful village of support, Nicholas would never have walked across the stage of the Sheldonian to become Dr. Nicholas Letchford.
Thanks for following our amazing journey,