Starting school can be scary, but a stranger made it a bit less daunting for this young girl.
Five-year-old Ella Mitchell was on the bus with her mother, Alaura Mae, in Seattle, last week, Yahoo News reported. The girl was nervous about starting kindergarten in the fall and was telling her mother about her concerns, which included learning to read. A stranger overheard the conversation and gave a note to Mae for her daughter.
According to King 5 News, the note read:
"When you practice letters enough, and the sounds they make, they'll start to work together and make sense, and then you'll be reading. When you can read, you'll know what EVERYTHING says. All the signs, all the names, all the books, writing is EVERYWHERE if you look. Soon you'll be able to read books, and everything there is to know is in them! You'll be able to find out whatever you want! It probably won't be easy, but it won't be hard forever. It's going to be so exciting! Good luck!"
Mae said that the gesture was a truly uplifting.
“Taking the bus in Seattle is always an adventure. There’s a lot of really creepy people out there,” she told Yahoo News. “So somebody taking five minutes of their time to encourage my daughter was encouraging to me, too.”
When the mother first received the note, she was a bit skeptical.
"I totally [gave] him this look of, 'um, OK, you are a strange guy on the bus handing me a note and thanks,'" Mae told King 5 News.
But upon reading the note, the surprised mother found that the man offered some beautiful words. Mae posted the note to Facebook and Reddit in hopes of finding the man to thank him, according to Yahoo News. A friend who saw one of her social media posts knew the man and helped connect the two.
As it turns out, the stranger, whose identity hasn't been made public, knew a thing or two about the challenges of reading himself. He wanted Ella to have a better experience.
“He said he was really glad that I looked at the note, because he was trying to respect our privacy but still wanted to share this message with Ella,” Mae told Yahoo News. “He said he struggled a lot with learning to read as a kid, and remembers how frustrating it was and he didn’t want her to have the same frustrations.”
As for Ella, she told King 5 News that kindergarten might not be so scary, after all.
"I can't wait," she said.