''Have you ever gone to Wal-Mart and seen those little plastic purses? Seems like Lilly's gotten one, and she's going to have a time taking it to school," said Margaret Groves, preparing to read Lilly's Plastic Purse to Misty Beatty's second-grade class at Stevens Creek Elementary School.
Groves, who is Beatty's grandmother, was not alone. She represented one of four generations of reading relatives that day.
Also reading to the children were Cindy Beatty - Misty Beatty's mother, and Helen Foch, Misty Beatty's great-grandmother. Misty Beatty is a media specialist at North Columbia Elementary School, but her mother and grandmother are from Winter Haven, Fla. They were on their annual ''fall leaf tour" and decided to make Stevens Creek one of their stops along the way.
''It was unusual for the children to see that their teacher actually has a life and a family. I think they really enjoyed it," Misty Beatty said.
When the relatives arrived, the pupils had several tries at putting them in order - from Misty Beatty to Foch.
The activity was one Beatty had planned to meet the criteria of her Reading Endorsement Class, a yearlong program of study that Columbia County's school system offers to help teachers teach reading.
By completing the course, teachers get an endorsement on their teaching certificate. Thirty-three Columbia County teachers are taking the course, which will end in May.
''We do a lot of reading activities, and we have a lot of parents come in," said Beatty, who has been teaching at Stevens Creek for one year.
''It's more hands on: We write, make books, partner read - anything to get away from rotating around and reading a paragraph out of a book."
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