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A TV Star Speaks To Kids About Reading

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MickeyMac View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 22 2009 at 2:49pm
SOUTH PLAINFIELD An actress famous for playing a woman stranded on an island told students yesterday about the adventures they can find reading books.

Tina Louise, the actress best known as "Ginger" from the television series "Gilligan's Island," visited John F. Kennedy Elementary School yesterday afternoon to read and sign copies of her children's book "When I Grow Up." She also spoke to the students about the importance of reading.

"I think it's about one of the best things you can do," said Louise, 75.

Louise's visit was the result of a kept campaign promise by student body president Morgan Merkler. Morgan, a 9-year-old fourth-grader, promised to promote reading, if elected.



Last fall, Morgan followed through on that pledge by writing letters to authors asking them to visit her school. One letter went to Louise. Morgan's mother, Stacy Merkler, said the family had attended a book signing of Louise's in Bridgewater in 2007. That sparked Morgan's interest in the iconic actress. Then one day last November, the telephone rang.

"I picked up and it was Tina Louise," Stacy Merkler said. "I didn't think that she would immediately call the house. So it was quite a shock."

Morgan's principal, Kelly Richkus, was surprised, too.

"I never thought she would actually come here," Richkus said.

Louise's book featured a list of animals such as a cheetah and corresponding jobs such as an Olympic athlete. Louise then asked the students to raise their hands if they wanted each occupation. Louise counted the hands, creating an informal poll.

The job of president of the United States proved most popular, with about 150 eager hands raised out of about 270 students in attendance.

"You're going to have to study hard to be that," Louise said.

TEACHER EXCITEMENT

Morgan said her fellow students were really excited about Louise's visit, though she confessed that many didn't know who the actress was. "Gilligan's Island" aired in the 1960s. Since then, Louise has continued acting in television, film and theater. She also volunteers with Learning Leaders, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy in New York City public schools.

But Richkus said the teachers knew exactly who Louise was, and their excitement quickly spread to the students.

"They've heard it from teachers and parents and everybody," Richkus said. "You have this famous person on TV and movies, and she loves kids and she's done so many things."

After reading her book, Louise answered questions from students. She was asked what it was like to be famous.

"Well you can get a good seat at a restaurant," she said.

Another student asked how much money Louise made.

"It's not how much money I make, it's how much money I save," she said. "Did I put it in the stock market? Did I lose it all? No I didn't."

Each student went home with a free autographed copy of "When I Grow Up." The books were supplied by local business owners.
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MickeyMac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MickeyMac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 22 2009 at 2:49pm
Couldnt post pictures here for whatever reason, and even though I have always favored Mary Ann, I have to say Tina Louise looks pretty hot for a 75 year old.
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M I X E Y View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 24 2009 at 6:44am
You're right MM.  She does look good for 75.
 
Nice story too.  Smile
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dream207 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 24 2009 at 7:17am
Older women ROCKJ!!!!!  Not that I'm biased or anything.  LOL!!
 
Nice article and it would be good if youngsters learned to read at an early age and spent more time reading books than playing video games.  OOOOOOOOOOOOPS just showed my age, didn't I.LOL
 
dream
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MickeyMac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 24 2009 at 10:11am
Originally posted by dream207 dream207 wrote:

Older women ROCKJ!!!!!  Not that I'm biased or anything.  LOL!!
 
Nice article and it would be good if youngsters learned to read at an early age and spent more time reading books than playing video games.  OOOOOOOOOOOOPS just showed my age, didn't I.LOL
 
dream
 
 
 
 
 
 
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL  Dream
 
not at all.   First off older women do rock(I actually prefer an older lady to a younger one, but thats a topic for another thread).  About spending more time reading instead of sitting in front of the television set and playing video games, well we all know where I stand where it comes to TV and reading books.
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