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93-year-old inspiring young students in school

VERNAL — With words of encouragement, sometimes a simple nod — WJ Wamsley is more than just a volunteer. He’s an inspiration.

After nearly five decades of teaching, this 93-year-old refuses to stop. Officially retired at 83, he’s volunteered ever since.

Four days a week, you’ll find WJ at Naples Elementary in Vernal, reading with Ms. Kristin Oaks’ third-grade class.

“If they don’t make it by the end of third grade, usually they’ll struggle the rest of their school life. So what I want to do is get these kids to a point where that’s not going to happen to them.”

But WJ’s not just teaching these kids to read; he’s rewarding them too — with his own money.

“When they fill the page they get two dolla!”

Ms. Oaks says WJ’s influence on her class is invaluable.

“We’re just so blessed that he chooses to come.”

Not only because reading scores are going up, but because he also teaches cursive too.

The students say one of their favorite things about WJ: the nicknames he calls them.

In honor of WJ, our friends at Read Today donated 50 new books to Ms. Oaks’ classroom.

But for this High 5, there was more. Our friends at America First Credit Union have given us $500 to give back to this classroom.

A High 5 to WJ, for showing us that age is just a number, and that each of us has something to give, even if it’s just our time.

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