Skip to comments.Castro Valley girl makes famous friend (Lonely 4th-grader gets advice from Laura Bush)
Posted on 09/28/2004 9:08:29 AM PDT by presidio9
CASTRO VALLEY -- Pari Cariaga can now say that she knows people in high places -- really high places. Last summer, the Castro Valley fourth-grader expressed to her parents, Hilarie and Rudy Cariaga, that she had been feeling lonely because she was an only child.
"She came in one day and just started to cry in my lap," Hilarie said. "She had told me that it was due to the fact that she had nobody to play with."
After seeing this, Rudy suggested to his young daughter that she write a letter to none-other-than first lady Laura Bush, an only child herself.
With the help of her father, Pari started penning the letter that would garner a response nobody could have predicted.
Upon returning home from school one day, Pari learned that she had received something in a huge manila envelope on the kitchen table for her. It was addressed to her from the White House.
"She jumped about 10 inches into the air," said her father. "She was just so excited about it."
In the envelope, Pari found not only a heartfelt letter from the first lady that discussed how she overcame the loneliness in her childhood by reading, but also a plaque with an autographed picture of Mrs. Bush and a copy of the book, "Because of Winn Dixie."
Pari also received a number of photos which included Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynn Cheney, a photo of Air Force One, and photos of President and Mrs. Bush.
Pari had been a fan of Mrs. Bush because of her strong Christian beliefs and her loyalty to her husband. She also felt a kinship with the first lady because Laura Bush was an avid reader when she was a young girl.
"In the package, she sent me a list," Pari said. "The list had a bunch of books that (Mrs. Bush) recommended I read."
Pari's father, having written politicians before and gotten little response, admitted that he was rather surprised.
"She advised Pari to do a lot of reading," he said. "And she also recommended that she join or get involved in a club."
The letter also reinforced a lot of things that they already had been doing as a family, giving Pari a point of reference by showing her that someone else had gone through the exact same thing, Hilarie said.
"I think that one of the most positive things about this is the fact that it shows kids that they can reach out to the highest office in the land and get correspondence back as well," Hilarie added. "It shows kids that they can also make a difference."
Aw. :( Poor kid. Laura Bush is class through and through to do this.
great story and a great post....thanks
What a sweet story! (Other families with kids probably can't afford to live in Castro Valley ...)
Good for Mrs. Bush. A person who learns to love books doesn't ever have to suffer from loneliness.
TaRAYzaaa would have told her to go naked for a while. Lauara Bush is just soooo classy.
Can't you just see Terayza doing exactly the same thing? Remember all the stories like this we heard during the Clinton presedency? No?
That little girl will never forget the thoughtfulness of our First Lady.
This touching story moved me to tears. Thanks for posting it!
Actually, I can see Tehrayza sending her a COD letter saying, "Shove it, kid. I've got bigger problems."
The Bushes are like that. Great for Pari!
Any stories like this from Hillary?
I imagine reading something like this:
"...Jeanette was torn between having a baby and giving it up for adoption but the 16 yr old was confused. Her parmiscuos lifestyle interupted her life as a teen.
She wrote First Lady Hillary Clinton and was suprised to find a few weeks later a reply to her letter in a manilla envelope. The message said, 'Abort it. Nothing empowers a woman more when they have the legal right to kill children they create out of sexual intrigue. You go girl. Watch Oprah.'"
That's class. What a heart-warming story from my home town!
What a lovely picture!
Great Post! Do you have access to the list of books that Mrs. Bush recommended?
Laura Bush's Recommended Reading
Katherine Anne Porter, Ship of Fools; The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Truman Capote, Music for Chameleons
John Graves, Goodbye to a River
David McCullough, Mornings on Horseback; and other biographies
Rudolfo A. Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima
Willa Cather, My Antonia; Death Comes to the Archbishop
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Recommended Family Reading
This list represents only a sampling of the many excellent books for children, young adults, and families. For more suggestions ask the librarians and teachers at your school or at your public library.
To be read aloud as a family. These titles are also good for independent readers.
Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
Hank the Cowdog (series,) John R. Erickson
Little House on the Prairie (series), Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
The People Could Fly, Virginia Hamilton
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
Winnie the Pooh (series), A. A. Milne
Books to Read to and with Young Children
These titles are also good for early independent readers and those children just learning to read.
Bedtime favorites and Lap-time reading:
Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
Babar (series), Laurent De Brunhoff
Carlo Likes Reading, Jessica Spanyol
Clifford the Big Red Dog (series), Norman Bridwell
Corduroy, Don Freeman
Frances the Badger (series), Russell Hoban
Hop on Pop, and others by Dr. Seuss
Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey
Mother Goose Rhymes
Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, Tomie De Paola
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Simms Taback
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears, Verna Aardema
Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, Richard Scarry
Cuadros de familia/ Family Pictures, Carmen Lomas Garza
Curious George, H.A. Rey
Frog and Toad (series), Arnold Lobel
George and Martha (series), James Marshall
If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Laura Joffee Numeroff
Little Bear (series), Else Holmelund Minarik
Magda's Tortillas, Becky Chavarria-Chairez
Officer Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathmann
Sarah's Flag for Texas, Jane Alexander Knapik
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
Tomas and the Library Lady, Pat Mora
Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman
Books for Intermediate and Independent Readers
Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan
Love that Dog, Sharon Cheech
A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck
Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
Adaline Falling Star, Mary Pope Osborne
Joey Pigza Loses Control, Jack Gantos
Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson
Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
Miracle's Boys, Jacqueline Woodson
Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
Homeless Bird, Gloria Whelan
James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia Maclachlan
Ramona (series), Beverly Cleary
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
Special Comfort Books
The Story about Ping, Marjorie Flack
The Tenth Good Thing about Barney, Judith Viorst
I Love You, Little One, Nancy Tafuri
You go! Laura!
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