9-year-old girl teaches her school’s ice cream vendor to read.

It is never too late to learn. Usually, most of us learn to read when we are still children. For various reasons, there are children who have to drop out of school to dedicate themselves to work and support household expenses. And many times they reach adulthood without knowing how to read or write, or add and subtract; but the desire to learn remains. Francisco Santana Filho is a 68-year-old man from Brazil who could not read. For 4 decades he has been selling ice cream outside an elementary school. Luckily for him, one day he met Bárbara Matos, a girl with a huge heart who decided to teach him to read and write.

The man dedicated himself to working and working throughout his life and reached an advanced age without having learned the most basic things. By chance, she ended up selling ice cream at a school, but she never imagined that one day, after so many years, someone would offer to be her teacher. 9-year-old Barbara decided to buy an ice cream and suddenly wanted to know something about the seller. She asked him if she knew how to read and the man said no. She later told him that she was never able to learn because she did not have the opportunity to attend school but that he did not lose the desire to study. Without thinking twice, Barbara told Francisco that she would be her teacher and would teach him to read and write. Since then, every day, the girl stays an extra time after finishing her classes to help the seller. From a student she becomes a teacher and she does it excellent. For his part, Francisco goes to work selling ice cream and when it’s time he becomes a student. At the school gate, they both sit down to study.

“She is my teacher. She is a gentle and particular individual. At the time of departure, she stayed to teach me the alphabet, “said Francisco. Little by little, the seller began to recognize letters and words. Day after day, Barbara prepares to teach Francisco something new. Now a teacher from the Diocesan College, Rizélia Sobreira, also took on the task of instructing the vendor and supports the girl in the process. As a child, Francisco had a dream of becoming a journalist but was never able to achieve it. He now wants to focus on knowing how to read and write very well and then he will continue with mathematics.

He can now write some expressions and most importantly, he knows how to write his name. This peculiar story became famous after the teacher took a photo of the duo while she was studying and shared it on social networks. Many recognized the girl’s generosity and initiative as well as the man’s desire to excel. They congratulated both for the noble and beneficial action they are carrying out and which is already paying off.


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