Two 106-Year Olds Finish High School!
It’s LitWorld’s World Read Aloud Day today and HTE’s post today is dedicated to this great event.
793 million people are unable to read. Read this post (or anything) out loud today and you’ll be taking part in a global event to help raise awareness for, and share your voice with, those who can’t. That’s it. And if you want to, let us know below if you did. Today’s HTE story is tied to the event. It’s about the importance of literacy … and looking out for each other.
How old will you be when you finish high school? For most of us it’s when we’re around 17 or 18 years old.
Just a couple of weeks apart, two 106-year olds are receiving their high school diplomas. It’s an amazing enough accomplishment they’ve lived that long! And the two stories have nothing to do with each other.
Fred Butler, who lives in Beverly, Massachussets, received his diploma on Monday. A diploma is the official piece of paper your school gives you saying you’re done.
Mr. Butler, who was in a wheelchair, held his diploma on his lap at the small ceremony that included his great-grandchildren, The Boston Globe newspaper reported.
The Globe article also said Mr. Butler dropped out of school in the 8th grade to help support his mother and five younger siblings. He then fought in World War II and had a family. It had always bothered Mr. Butler that he didn’t finish high school.
His family helped get him an honorary degree (which means he didn’t have to go back and complete the school work). Mr. Butler told The Globe , “I never expected to get anything like that. I really appreciate it.”
One comment in a British newspaper went even farther saying, “he deserve(s) a Ph.D for the job of raising a family, staying married for 65 years, serving (his) country and keeping a job!”
Reba Williams, the other 106-year old getting her diploma, will be receiving hers in the coming days. She lives in Lucas, Ohio.
She actually did complete all the school work she needed to finish high school — except for one last book she was supposed to read, her local newspaper, the Mansfield News Journal , reported. Ms. Williams told her teacher at the time that she’d already read that book and didn’t plan to read it again.
That, and almost 90 years, came between her and her diploma. Ms. Williams never did re-read the book but a woman who learned about Ms. Williams’s situation thought it would be nice for her to have after all these years. Ms. Williams agreed.