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Childhood lessons in proper grammar last a lifetime

I LOVED, loved Joan Wickersham’s column, “Navigating the grammatical thicket” (Op-ed, Feb. 22).

I will never forget learning grammar lessons. In the 1960s, I was a student at the Silver Bluff Elementary School in Miami. We had grammar every day of the week. The textbook was a small, white book with a different color cover for each grade but, inside, the lessons to be learned and relearned were the same: when to use “its” or “it’s”; how to diagram a sentence; which punctuation went where when. My mother was a teacher in a nearby school, and I often saw the dreaded book in her bag, too. Once a week, a grammar teacher came to the school and taught an additional lesson to each class. Imagine having the resources to do that now.

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Today, my avocation is writing, and I will always be grateful to have learned this important skill so early in my life. I just Googled Silver Bluff, and while the population of that area has shifted, the school remains a five-star center of excellence. How lucky for a new generation of students that it is.

Thank a teacher today for what she or he is doing for the future.

Jan Moidel Schwartz

Wellesley

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