American Community Voices: Familial and Collegiate
by Larry L. Didlo
Diamond Media Press

"More students are enrolling in college, or universities, than ever before. It is important to set your priorities first before high school."

Four previously published e-books are combined here to create a guide for molding career success at a young age. Based on personal experience, Didlo outlines how early involvement in community activities, sports, travel, and reading, along with an internalized spiritual core, can set priorities for a fulfilling life. He begins with his father's story on a small family farm in Missouri in 1904. Backbreaking labor and unusual odd jobs shaped his father's eventual success in retail and real estate. Especially touching is a dark moment when his fifteen-year-old father failed to save his seventeen-year-old cousin from drowning in the Missouri River.

Didlo then segues to his lifetime involvement in the Eagle Scouts, which provided the ultimate blueprint for setting goals and priorities. In the Eagle Scouts, he learned the importance of reading, physical excellence, survival skills, goal attainment, community involvement, and expansion through travel. His experience as a teacher reinforced the fact that, as early as kindergarten, the reading process is key to lifetime satisfaction.

An especially creative inclusion in the book is a reading literacy exercise for kindergarteners involving a pretend trip on a jet plane to Disneyland. Not afraid to think outside the box and challenge existing pedagogical bias, the author assures readers that even video games can be a fun way to develop reading enjoyment in children with the proper adult supervision and interaction. Many photos depicting family life from the 1920s onward, including some interesting ones of the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, enhance the narrative. Copies of newspaper articles and moving haiku-like poems back up Didlo's philosophy of excellence through reading, travel, sports, and community involvement. A peek behind the scenes of a life well-lived is always a privilege. This memoir is no exception and has the added benefit of providing a personal example of how to achieve success.

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