Our mom started the preschool, Reading Friends, in Fort Worth in 1980, but the story really starts long before that. When mom was little she was struggling in school. Her pediatrician happened to know about dyslexia and sent mom for an evaluation where she was diagnosed as dyslexic. She immediately started working with a language therapist and went on to be very successful in school. After graduating, she went to the Dean School (at Scottish Rite Hospital) and got her language therapy certification. She has taught many children privately, but also started a reading program to supplement kindergarten and first grade. After gearing down the Orton Gillingham method of teaching letters and phonics down to a younger child’s level, she went back to Scottish Rite to show Dr. Waites what she had accomplished. Instead of the pat on the back she was expecting, he told her that if she really wanted to serve these children, she would hire a kinesiologist’s to write a gross motor program. After doing that, she went to Dr. Waites again and this time he told her that if she really wanted to be teaching the whole child, she would add a math program. The next time she saw Dr. Waites, she said in surprise, “Now I have a school.” And his response was, “I know.” From there we have grown and expanded and added things over the years so that we can be the very best at what we do. We are always looking for ways to not only take our students as far as they can go, but also be teaching them the best ways possible.
That is our school, but there is so much more! I am the oldest of my mother’s children. I always said I did not want Reading Friends, much less to ever have children. The year Reading Friends doubled in size I came to help the first week and have never left. I am pretty sure the two year old teachers were completely crazy because that year they gave me a class of 7 children by myself and they taught 15 children together. I can still remember all of those precious babies, who, by the way, all have their drivers licenses now. I have 4 children, and would totally have more, except my otherwise fantastic husband says I would have to have a new husband first (and that just sounds like too much work!). I love what I do, I love working with moms, I love working with kids, and I cannot imagine doing anything else. I love being a mom, I wish I had a green thumb, and I love to cook! Just call me a want-a-be Suzy Homemaker!!
Now for Nancy’s story. Nancy and I are opposite in so many ways! She is glamorous, I mean like Hollywood glamour. If you haven’t seen her blog is nancetteimage.com. You will see what I am saying. She is organized, meaning her house is always tidy. That might be because her first child is just a baby right now, but I suspect her house will always be neat. Mine, not so much! Her sweet husband is a firefighter, and so perfect for her it is crazy. She and I taught two year olds together for several years before she left Reading Friends to go work in the very cutest boutique in Fort Worth, A. Hooper. After being away for a few years, she has returned to Reading Friends because I am in desperate need of her organization in my life. It took some persuading, and the arrival of a precious baby girl, but she agreed to leave the boutique she loves and rescue me from my disorder. I am so excited for her new baby, and to have her back at school!
We have a brother in between us. He is a rancher in the Graham area and has given us one precious niece with beautiful curly hair, and one nephew with a personality that leaves hundreds of adorable stories anywhere he goes. Being the only boy in the house, I think our brother has always been the protector of us girls. He has grown up to be a great dad, a great husband, and has always been a great brother.
So, that’s our story.