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My name is Wes Goodson. I am a junior at Madison Special Education School in Nashville, Tennessee. School has been very challenging for me because I have dyslexia and other learning disabilities. I do love learning, and my favorite classes are reading and writing. I really enjoy the classics, and I have listened to the audio recordings of many classic stories and novels. Poetry is my greatest interest, and I have written dozens of poems using a digital recorder and a teacher as a scribe. My poem “The Candle” has been published in a collection of poetry called “Breaking Ground.” I am inspired by the writing of Edgar Allen Poe, and I think he is one of the greatest writers of all time.
I have always been interested in reading and writing, but it has always been very difficult for me. During the last two years at my school, I have been involved in a reading program called SRA Corrective Reading. In this reading program, I have learned to recognize words by learning the skill of decoding them. The first section of SRA is all about decoding, and I have learned the skill of breaking unfamiliar words down into parts and sounds. This makes words easier to work with, and it has made my vocabulary get much bigger and better. In the fall of 2004, I tested out of the decoding program, and I am now working in the SRA comprehension program. This takes the decoding skills a step further, because now I have to comprehend short passages, and answer questions about what I have read. In SRA comprehension we do really fun skill-building drills like deductions and analogies. Since I have been involved in SRA corrective reading, I have learned to enjoy reading and writing even more. I am now getting the skills I need to read and write independently. This is something I have not been able to do in the past, and I look forward to being able to put my new skills to use.
All in all, SRA corrective reading has helped me to become a better reader and a better writer. Since becoming a writer is a dream that I have, I hope that I will be able to continue to improve my skills. Here is a copy of my best poem. It is called “The Candle,” and I believe it shows how far I have come.
by Wes Goodson
Love is as a living candle
that lights one’s very soul.
The candle can never be blown out
but as hatred takes its toll,
the candle runs the risk of falling
into the darker side of the soul.
The hateful half of the human soul,
is like a horrid, pitch black hole.
Where demons dwell
and wait to take control
of the lovely light within your soul.
But there is luck without luck
in the candle of your soul.
For it will never be extinguished
but it may turn cold.
For if it fall among the halls
of the demons from within,
they will keep it for themselves
and let the heat grow dim.
For within the hole inside your soul
it is chilling, icy cold.
And this dark ice will never be nice
to a light so bright and warm.
For the ice does not wish to melt
and the darkness will hold its own.
For the lovely light of love
with beauty bright and warm
will not keep its brilliant light
in a realm so miserable and glum.
It will not go out, of this I am sure.
But the brilliant light will suffer
much worse askewer.
For the lovely light of beauty true
shall suffer in ways its owner never knew.
For the once white, hot light of love
is now a bonfire in a tub.
Flaring dark and evil flames
and hating the world above.
So keep hate far from your soul
and your candle will not fall to the demon’s goal.
So love your life and live it with love,
and keep your candle warm and snug.
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Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu). Citation: Gaylord, V., Quinn, M., McComas, J., & Lehr, C. (Eds.). (2005). Impact: Feature Issue on Fostering Success in School and Beyond for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders 18(2). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration. Available at http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/182/default.html.
The PDF version of this Impact, with photos and graphics, is also online at http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/182/182.pdf.
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