Creating a new story to tell

Published 12:26 am Sunday, August 3, 2008

Reading is an important skill for young people to learn. One Maplesville resident has aided in helping children learn to love books through creating her own stories and telling them personally to the kids.

Rita Little started her journey of writing many years ago as a hobby, just a simple poem here or verse there. Then when her grandson was born, he opened her creative senses and she began writing short stories, which she would take to his preschool and read out loud to all of the kids present.

“I really enjoyed getting to interact with the kids, and it was so easy using my own stories because I could write them in a way that the kids could understand what was going on,” Little said.

She added that her favorite way to write a short story is to make it about animals. She said that most kids can associate the animals to themselves, and it makes the story more fun and the child gets a chance to learn a lesson, even if they are not aware they are learning it.

Little said English was her favorite subject growing up, and she wants to help as many kids as she can to love reading and writing. When she is not writing her short stories, creating new characters or reading to young children, she volunteers. Most of the time she volunteers her time at the local school or library where she can still work with children.

“I started this project six years ago, and now I am hoping to keep it going. I have around six or seven stories that I have written myself, and one day I want to have all of them bound so that I can place them in the library for kids to read,” she said.

She finds her story ideas in unique places including nature and even stores. Her latest story was titled “Mommy, Why am I Orange?” She wrote the story after finding a large fluffy spider toy in a thrift store.

“I said to myself, I am going to write a story about you and then the opportunity came up when the theme for this year’s Story Hour was ‘Catch the Reading Bug.’ I just knew that was what I was going to write about,” she said.

Through her love of writing and storytelling, Little is hoping to show kids that no matter who you are and no matter how different you are, you are just as special as the person beside you.