A read­ing teacher turned phi­lan­thropist makes ‘Words’ hap­pen

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

It took a for­mer Mont­gomery County Pub­lic Schools read­ing teacher from Bethesda’s Burn­ing Tree Ele­men­tary School to com­mit $20 mil­lion of her own money to help finance the $50 mil­lion Planet Word, a mu­seum planned for the for­mer Franklin School that will fea­ture lan­guage and lin­guis­tics [“On historic D.C. build­ing’s fate, the lat­est word is: Words,” news, Jan. 26]. In these days of video games and emoji, it took a read­ing teacher turned phi­lan­thropist to show us all that speech, lit­er­a­ture, jour­nal­ism and poetry must be val­ued to en­sure that our Amer­i­can democ­racy con­tin­ues via the writ­ten and spo­ken word. Thank you, Ann Fried­man.

Read­ing in­struc­tors and Eng­lish teach­ers na­tion­wide are singing Ms. Frei­d­man’s praises for help­ing pro­mote the most ba­sic of skills that for­ever set peo­ple free from ig­no­rance, prej­u­dice and en­slave­ment. I hope she will seek in­put from them and place many in the com­pany of her “in­for­mal” ex­perts for ideas and in­spi­ra­tion as they too deal with words and lan­guage on a daily ba­sis. Many peo­ple may also wish to be part of her fundrais­ing ef­forts be­cause they hold words and lan­guage as sa­cred as she and share her same pas­sion.

Kathy A. Me­gy­eri,

Thank you, Ann Fried­man.

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