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HEnk!! HeNk! HEnK!! hENK!!!

The alarm clock rang loudly,
ringing the room randomly with harsh tones.
A lightly tan hand rose among the sea of sky-blue blankets
in vain attempts to punch the digital clock quiet. HEnK!
HenK!!! HENK!!!
The agitated hand grew wild with whirly desperations;
frustrated, the hand crawled back into the blue and dark
abyss of the blankets and closed the entrance tightly,
trying to shut the noise out.

HEENNNK! HnK!! NK!! K. H… The hands clasped about some ears,
blocking out the noise to capture the last few moments of sleep.
“It’s time to wake up dear, breakfast is at the table.” said a motherly
“But Mom... I don’t want to go!” whimpered a soft yet whiny voice.
“It’s time for school today dear, BREAKFEST is at the table.” responded
the stern, motherly voice.

A sigh sounds out of the soothing blankets.
The blankets flew out from the bed and from here, a boy is revealed.
He appears lightly tan, wearing pajamas that depicted repeating
pictures of brave knights fighting fierce dragons. The boy belted a
loud yawn and walked sluggishly towards the table where breakfast

As the boy munches on his toast, and slurps up his cereal; he tries
to read the back of the cereal box. The letters that make up the
words appear random, jumbled, and scrambled like the corn flakes
in his bowl.
“Mom, what does ‘5 Svae btpx do pbs gt uprzee asper’ mean?”
The mother quickly picks up the box to see what her son was
talking about. She scans the words, and then shakes her head.
“Barry honey, it says ‘Save 5 box tops and get a super prize.’ It
means if we got 4 more boxes of this cereal, you could get a
Barry laughs at her mother’s way of exaggeration but then quickly
frowns, realizing he read it wrong again…

“The bus is here, Barry. Get ready because it’s time for school.” his
Mother said.
Barry dashes off to his room like a bolt of lightning. While he doesn’t
particularly like school, the anticipation for recess, lunch, and lunch
recess was enough to motivate for him to at least attend it.

The bus carried Barry and the other children off to school,
where Barry will confront another difficult day. What will the
day bring? Barry wondered with a backpack full of textbooks,
papers, and pencils. He knew he didn’t do his language arts
homework yesterday despite his teacher’s warning. Mr.
Notwen, Barry’s teacher, is a kind and fair teacher but often
chides Barry because he knows it will affect his grade and
“The homework is just too hard, the words don’t make sense,
and it’s boring. No matter how hard I try, it doesn’t work for
me… I hate 3rd grade.” grumbles Barry.

“Hiya Barry!” two voices spoke in unison behind Barry
which made him jump from his seat a bit.
A young boy and girl were smiling as they looked at him,
eagerly awaiting their best friend’s response.
“Hey, guys,” replied Barry.
“What’s wrong? You look glum.” Jackson asked. “Yea,
what’s wrong?” chirped in Rachel.
“Nothing, just didn’t do my homework.” Barry spoke
“Oooooh.” Rachel ominously said. “Mr. Notwen isn’t going
to be happy with you. He said someone is going to talk
with you if you didn’t do your homework again. Maybe it’s
Principal Henderson and you would be in trouble.”
“Rachel is probably right, but Mr. Notwen looked more
worried than angry,” added Jackson. “Don’t worry, Mr.
Notwen probably can’t do much more other than send
another note home.”
Barry didn’t really feel much better, he hated those sent
notes since his mother hasn’t been able to help him
either. What’s worse, the bus has now arrived at the
school and Barry must now face his teacher.

Barry, Rachel, and Jackson all arrived together to
their classroom, with Mr. Notwen sitting at his
“Everyone, please turn in your language arts
homework.” Mr. Notwen spoke with a calm yet
firm voice.
Everyone turned their work, including Rachel and
Jackson. Mr. Notwen then asked for Barry’s work.
“Have you done your homework, Barry?” Mr.
Notwen said.
“No, sir…” Barry flatly responded.

“Alright, it’s time you spoke with someone.” sighed Mr. Notwen.
“What do you mean?” questioned Barry.
“Go to the office and tell the secretary that I sent you, she will
know what to do…”
Barry took the hall pass, quietly waved goodbye to Rachel and
Jackson, and walked sadly to the office.
As Barry walked down the hallway, he wanted to leave school
at that moment; he wanted to play at recess. But he couldn’t
because he knew he would get into trouble, so he remembered
what his mother told him when he felt the need to make
impulsive choices.
“You need to be mindful of the consequences. Think of how
your actions can affect others. Once you think about it: breathe
and breathe again until you make the right choice,” Barry’s
mother advice sang as it ringed in his mind.
Barry felt better, more assured and carried on into the office.

Barry arrived at the front office where the secretary
would be. He speaks to the secretary who then
directs him to principal’s office. As soon as Barry
enters, he sees two people. One person is Principal
Henderson, and the second person is someone
whom Barry does not recognize.
“Barry, this is Mrs. Lewinsky, she’s here to assist and
tutor you due to the problems you’ve been having in
Mr. Nontwen’s class.” Mrs. Henderson spoke calmly
and seriously.
“How do you do?” asked Mrs. Lewinsky.
“I’m fine.” nervously responded Barry.
“Let’s take a trip to my office where we can discuss
your challenges. Mrs. Henderson, may we?”
requested Mrs. Lewinsky.
“Yes, of course.” replied Mrs. Henderson.

Barry and Mrs. Lewinsky sat down in her office where they talked about Barry’s
challenges at school.
“I think I have what you need to become more successful.” Mrs. Lewinsky said with a
Mrs. Lewinsky shows and explains to Barry many different strategies he could use to
become successful.
One tool that Barry can use is called a Reading Focus Card that can blocks the
surrounding words from the page in order to focus on only a few words at a time. It
looks like a small, opaque card that has a single slit opening which allows the reader
to see isolated words. This is helpful as it can be less stressful to read a few words at
a time rather than a lot of words all at once.
Mrs. Lewinsky will also give Barry a collection of transparent color overlays.
Transparent color overlays are colored sheets that you can see through. Some
children have difficulty reading words on white paper and using a chosen color on
top of the white paper can make the letters sharper.
“Mr. Notwen has informed me you also have trouble being attentive in class;
oftentimes getting up from your chair to see other classes play outside during
recess, is that correct?”
“Yes.” Barry sheepishly said.
“I think I will talk to Mr. Notwen about a positive reward system for you.” Mrs.
Lewinsky mused.
A positive reward system is when someone is being rewarded for following
directions. For example, rather than being punished for inappropriate deeds, a
person is only rewarded for remaining on task. This can help anyone who has trouble

“I think so too, but you can ALSO help them when they are
learning too.” replied Mrs. Lewinsky.
“How?” questioned Barry.
Mrs. Lewinsky smiled warmly and said this.
“You and all children are unique, special, and capable to
achieve all your dreams. Help each other when another
faces the dark. Don’t let your own challenges become your
limiting factor; let it become your will.