When a literacy volunteer knocked on George Dawson's door he did not hesitate to enroll in the adult education class being offered, just a few blocks from his home. At age 98, George became Dallas, Texas' oldest student.
As the oldest of five children, George never got the opportunity to go to school. Instead, he had to work to help support his family. So in 1996 when he became a student, for the first time, he was determined to do well.
Having used an X, to endorse checks, this was all of the alphabet George knew. Yet, he learned the other 25 letters his first two days of school. He insisted on learning cursive writing. When his instructor, Carl Henry, attempted to teach him to print George told him, "No son, I want to join them together."
Now, at the young age of 102, Dawson's hand writing is as good as the teacher's, he reads at a fifth grade level, and is planning on getting his general equivalency diploma. "I never thought I was too old to learn. That was the most important thing I did, to learn one letter from another." George commented recently.
He has taken that concept much further. George has written a book about his life with the aid of co-author Richard Glaubman. The book, "Life is So Good", published by Random House is available in bookstores.
Dawson doesn't anticipate much change in his life as a result of the book. If he makes any money from the sales he may fix up is home a little. He is just grateful to his volunteer instructor, Carl.
Carl admitted to being nervous at first. "In my mind, I said, Oh my goodness! How in the world do I start teaching a 98 year old man?" But the two of them teamed up and worked hard together accomplishing a small miracle.
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