Reading is a life changer; key to education

Published 9:42 pm Friday, August 26, 2016

I have heard it said before: If you read a good book, you will be hooked for life.

I am not sure that exactly applies to me, because as far back as I can remember I wanted to learn how to read.

I could not wait to start first grade to begin figuring out how to decipher the words you find written on the pages of books.

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And then, finally, after I had mastered learning those first few words, I wanted to read every story about Dick, Jane, Sally and Spot.

I do not mean to sound braggadocious, but I advanced swiftly with my reading skills. In fact, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Bridgers, thought I could read so well, she let me sit up in the front of her room at Jett Elementary School and read stories to the rest of my classmates.

During my preteen years, reading reached another high as I got hooked on all the Nancy Drew mysteries books.

My girlfriends and I would even share our books with each other, so as not to miss out on any of the young sleuth’s discoveries.

And then came the day when I went to the library and checked out “Jubilee.”

The book, written by Margaret Walker (Alexander), forever changed my understanding of reading.

Considered a historical novel, “Jubilee” focused on the lives of a few of the men and women who were captured from Africa and then sold into slavery in America, and their journey up through the 20th century.

It’s much like Alex Haley’s “Roots,” but Walker’s novel was first published in 1966.

For the first time ever, the depth of an author’s words brought to life for me the lives of her characters. So much so, it felt as if I was living right along with them.

“Jubilee” was the first book that touched my soul. I felt repulsed at the cruelties and injustices the characters suffered and cried when they found happiness in the smallest activities.

“Jubilee” had me hooked on reading like I had never been before, and it was due in part to our public library.

This week, I had an assignment at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library and was reminded of the importance of its services.

I was there to cover the children’s story time, which has been offered for more years than anyone there could remember.

It is a program geared for preschoolers to help get them excited about reading and books.

The assignment was fun, the children were adorable, and it was nice to once again smell the aroma that radiates from shelves and shelves of books.

Reading is something everyone can enjoy and if you have not found that book to get you hooked, you may want to make a visit to the library.

I am so glad I did all those many years ago.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You can reach her at 

Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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