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Willie Tee

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Hi there readers and fellow authors. I am Willie Tee and I send out newsletters from time to time to keep you informed of the progress I am making in the promotion of my book, The Winds of Destiny, 2nd Edition. I will mention in my newsletter book festivals, speaking engagements and book signings that I attended or will attend in the future. I also inform readers of other fellow authors that I have met and the titles of their books. Importantly, I want to encourage others to become authors, a dream come true, and to provide them guidance on how to become skillful authors.
Newsletter Dated: 6/11/2006 11:13:30 AM

Subject: NEW BOOK: Fort Lee in Transition: 1940s - 1970s

I was honored this weekend to meet the Black coauthor, Mrs. Lillian Gaskill, of the book, Fort Lee in Transition: 1940s – 1970s, Black Quartermaster Officers’ Families at Fort Lee, Virginia. I exchanged books with Mrs. Gaskill. She is the wife of Major General (Retired) Robert C. Gaskill, Sr., who was stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia during the historical period that is covered by her book. The other coauthor of the book is the late Mrs. Charlene Gregg, the wife of Lieutenant General (Retired) Arthur J. Gregg. Mrs. Gregg entered into eternity about three weeks ago. The authors of the book and their husbands are African Americans, who all have been involved extensively with education and jobs of prestigious military and civilian leadership.

I have a strong interest in Mrs. Gaskill and Mrs. Gregg’s book because it depicts life at nearby Fort Lee, Virginia and the neighboring cities of Petersburg, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, and Richmond from the 1940s – 1970s, which was a period of segregation and then integration. The books mentions the challenges of segregation and the personal experiences of African American soldiers from enlisted to officer during segregation. However, the book is mostly about positive personal experiences and achievements during a past era. Readers will find this book educational and interesting. Remember that books based on historical accounts during the time of segregation is incomplete if no mention is made of the challenges during those times. My own books traverse segregation based on my own experiences and depict where we were back then in comparison to where we are now in regards to race relations. Fort Lee in Transition depicts that African Americans were highly successful years ago during their military service to our nation and the civilian communities. Parents should read this book to their children and encourage others to do the same. The book can be purchased at the Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Recently, I was elected as the President of Read Aloud Virginia (RAV). You can access RAV’s web page at www.authorsden.com/willietee. RAV is a nonprofit organization that was founded to increase the reading literacy of children, by the parents reading books to them. RAV sends volunteers to schools to read aloud to the students. RAV volunteers give the students free books to take home, so the students’ parents can read aloud to them. Studies have shown that there are substantial reading illiteracy problems in some major cities of Virginia. Petersburg, Virginia was reported as having a substantial reading literacy problem.

I feel that it is time to have an African American Literacy Showcase in the Richmond Metropolitan Area to promote reading literacy. The showcase would have African Americans as guest speakers, such as the surviving coauthor of Fort Lee in Transition and the coauthors’ husbands who achieved the ranks of General, local prominent soldiers, and civilians. It would include guest speakers of other cultures who have contributed to reading literacy and other noteworthy accomplishments in support of reading and education. I will be approaching organizations such as RAV, Read to Them, a national reading literacy organization, and others for sponsorship and support of the showcase. The objective of the showcase would be to show school students historically of where African Americans have done during the past in obtaining an education and marching down the road of success and prominence. The showcase would promote the symbolic handing of the torch to students for them to continue the quest for excellence in education and future occupations.

I encourage everyone to read Fort Lee in Transition and invite Mrs. Gaskill, the surviving coauthor and historian, who is now escorted by her husband, Major General (Retired) Gaskill to your major events. It is noted in the book that people who shaped our past or history are a dying breed. Therefore, we must act quickly to showcase these people from the past who stone by stone paved a road of excellence for us to walk on. Then we must stone by stone maintain this road and stone by stone extend it infinitely. Stone by stone is no easy task. It is not a task for the selfish, but for those who are thankful for their heritage and appreciate the toil and sacrifices of those who proved that excellence comes in all colors. I recall a passage from a movie I once saw. “I am what I is am that I is am.” The grammar checker of my computer had no issues with this odd phrase. The phrase has an obvious meaning. Be proud of who you are.


For those who want to know more about Read Aloud Virginia, you will find the extract from the following email informative. We (RAV) are always looking for volunteers. Contact me, Willie Tee, the author if you have an interest in becoming a RAV volunteer at dwindsofdestiny@aol.com or visit the site at www.readaloudva.org.


Happy Summer everyone!!! We're still counting and bubbling in categories on the SOL tests at school . . . then Awards Assemblies, reports cards to read and rooms to clean up for Summer School in our building! And, there are only 5 days of school left!!! Yikes!

Hope you've had fun with your Read Aloud Activities this year! Byrd Middle School is our Read Aloud Virginia School of the Year 2006 - 2007. Lisa Johnson and Nancy Owen have initiated a very successful RAV program there, teaching 7th graders how to pick out books to read to young children, practice reading them out loud, and coming up with comprehension questions and projects to do with elementary students after reading them the books. Of course, the elementary students are awed by the "big kids" coming to read to them! This has been the most exciting program to come along in years for these middle school kids! If you'd like more details, e-mail Lisa Johnson! lejohnson@henrico.k12.va.us

And, you can find out more at our Summer Workshop, July 20 - 21. Lisa Johnson will be presenting "RAV in the Middle School" on the 20th. Jan Bates will present her successful "All School Reads/ Listens in the Elementary School" on the 21st.

Please join us for our Summer Workshop! 10:00 am - 2:00 pm July 20 - 21 at our RAV office, 8545 Patterson Avenue; Richmond, VA 23229.

Register now, by mailing a DONATION check for $50 made out to RAV for the 2 day workshop to:
RAV Treasurer, 2111 Cassell Court, Richmond,VA 23238.

RAV will be changing a bit next year! I'm retiring from Pemberton to devote fulltime to working with schools and day care centers to motivate more teachers, librarians and parents to have one good daily read aloud session - reading and discussing books that are 2 - 3 years above the reading/talking level of their children!

I'm hoping to visit your schools to be a reader in your classrooms and to get pictures for Channel 6 TV. Please contact me right away, so that I can save a spot on my calendar to come read in your school next year! We can work out the details in the fall.

Hope to see you at the July workshop! Have a wonderful summer!!

:) Joanie

NOTE: Mrs. Joanie Bache is the Executive Director of Read Aloud Virginia.





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