Sister Mary Clare Beznar from Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro will serve as reader at Stories in the Forest, a community program sponsored by the Women’s Council of the St. Bernards Foundation and held at St. Bernards Fun Forest at The Mall at Turtle Creek.
She will read Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan, mother of the well-known basketball star, and Michael’s sister Rosyln Jordan. She also will read The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting.
Salt in His Shoes is about a gangly kid who wanted to play basketball with the “big boys” in his neighborhood. He took a lot of kidding from the biggest boy on the court, so he set out to remedy the situation. His solution? Well, simply to grow taller. His mother would tease him a little, too, and tell him he should “put salt in his shoes … and say a prayer each night.”
His father told him that being taller might, indeed, help his game some. But the things that would have the most impact on his abilities were practice – lots of it – determination and giving it his best. He stressed those were the things that would make his son a winner in anything he undertook in life.
Well, Michael Jordan did grow – but at 6 feet 6 inches, he was far from the tallest player on the court. Still, he is one of the all-time best basketball players.
The book carries some underlying advice for all kids – things like ignore bullies, never give up, look to your family for support, keep your eye on your dream and more.
Deloris Jordan works through the James Jordan Foundation in Chicago and the Jordan Institute for Families at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an advocate for children and families.
The Wednesday Surprise is a book about a young girl named Anna and her grandmother who plan a big surprise for Anna’s father’s birthday. The 7-year-old and her grandmother work hard every Wednesday on the surprise – and they keep it from the rest of the family.
Her mother works late on Wednesdays. Her brother has basketball practice. And her dad drives a truck and is away from home. So every Wednesday, Anna and her grandmother work very hard on the birthday surprise.
As it turns out, the surprise is that Anna teaches her grandmother to read. Needless to say, the book is an inspiring story for youngsters, teaching them the importance of literacy, family and love.
Eve Bunting was born in Northern Ireland but emigrated to the United States in the late 1950s. She is the author of more than 100 children’s books and has received numerous honors and awards for her writing. Recognitions have included the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers, the PEN Los Angeles Center Literary Award for special achievement in children’s literature and the Edgar, given by the Mystery Writers of America.
The Stories in the Forest program gives parents some quality time with their children and exposes children to some favorite books of local residents. It is an outgrowth of an annual St. Bernards Women’s Council children’s program which began as Kidz Fun Fair and now is known as Kids on the Mile.
The Women’s Council is a group of about 120 area women who have joined together in an advisory role to give input on important healthcare issues impacting women and children. They encourage educational as well as service outreach efforts designed to make Jonesboro a better place to live, work and raise families.
Stories in the Forest will begin at 3 Saturday afternoon, Nov. 1, at the St. Bernards Fun Forest at The Mall at Turtle Creek. It is open to the interested public at no charge.