One-Eyed Willie Inspires Young Readers
By Dave Arnold
Verla Reed is not a pirate. She’s a school librarian. Her name is perfect for a job that promotes reading. Her extensive knowledge of print and digital research methods also fit her job perfectly. But I think she really wants to be a pirate.
So much so that she helped design and build a 16-foot long pirate ship that is now docked inside the school library.
“No matter how old we become, we all would like to have been a pirate,” says Reed, a veteran of the Brownstown Elementary School library in Illinois.
Christened last month as the Jolly Reader, the sturdy single-deck vessel is painted in the school colors of purple and gold. Benches were built along the inside perimeter of the ship for the children to sit and read. The single mast at the bow looks real enough to withstand even the strongest gale.