Brian Sandford: Reading to children nothing to be nervous about

Our front page Wednesday featured Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki reading to elementary-schoolers at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School as part of National Reading Week.

A less-well-known Brian sat in the same place Thursday afternoon, clutching a pile of animal-themed children’s books. I hadn’t been in an elementary school during school hours in 17 years, and I eagerly took in the sights and sounds while trying to drown irrational fears.

I’ve spoken to perhaps 20 groups in Carson City in the past year, discussing the Appeal, journalism and anything audience members have wanted to ask about. The Thursday-evening Toastmasters group I’m part of has helped me become comfortable speaking to groups, but all the members of our club are older than 25. It doesn’t train one to speak to two-dozen 9-year-olds.

Well, the kids didn’t make fun of me, ignore me or show anything other than appreciation for my presence. I had a great time reading to them, and I learned more in 40 minutes about how today’s young people behave in school than I had in the previous dozen years. I suppose I was in the right environment to receive such a lesson.


I had the privilege of doing something Thursday that I hadn’t done since 1998: calling my father on his birthday. As I wrote last year, he and I resumed communication around Father’s Day last year after a 15-year period of silence.

Rather than lament how pointless that was or how petty our differences were, I celebrate the fact that we’re back in each other’s lives. In our conversations, we’re careful not to interrupt each other or argue about even the simplest things, as though some tiny difference could upset the balance of our well-balanced relationship.

In a column in June, I urged parents and children who’ve strayed from one another to consider making an attempt to make amends. Nine months later, I can attest to the richness that my father’s renewed role has brought to my life. If you make a similar move toward reconciliation, you could well experience similar long-term results.


We run a weekly poll at our website,, that invites readers’ opinions on issues we’ve written about. The current question is, “Should Carson City purchase Empire Ranch Golf Course?” As of Friday afternoon, 110 people, or 63.58 percent of the total number of voters, had replied “no.” The question generally is updated each Wednesday.

Next week, we’ll start running results of the poll on the Opinion page. It’s another way we can reflect the community’s range of opinions in print. If you haven’t voted in our polls before, I invite you to go to our website and scroll down. You’ll see the poll on the left side of the page.

Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at


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