A Child’s Teacher: A Story of Hope

Val Melvin


Pages: 240
Published: May 2017
ISBN: 9781597151658

This inspirational story is based on the actual experience of Val Melvin, a seven-year-old student with no interior or exterior ears, recessed jaws, and a tracheotomy, and the caring and loving teacher who made a lasting difference in his life. When Mary Sue Humphrey met Val, a young student at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf (ENCSD) in 1975, she was touched by his story and set about to help her new student express himself without the abilities to hear or speak. His nine classmates often had difficulty accepting him until Humphrey helped them learn to trust. The teacher and her student grew closer as the school year progressed. Her love and compassion enabled him to overcome his pain and shyness, and to experience new things and to learn new life skills. They made heartwarming memories as Val became more independent and spent time with Humphrey’s family. One lasting memory they both cherish is when she taught him how to eat pimento cheese sandwiches.
Val graduated from high school at ENCSD in 1988, and attended Craven County Community College studying computer programming. His education was interrupted several times as he underwent numerous surgeries, but in 1995 he graduated from Wake Technical Community College with an associate degree. He held a job at the North Carolina Department of Revenue for fourteen years. Today he enjoys swimming, cycling, and keeping in touch with his friends from ENCSD. A Child’s Teacher: A Story of Hope is his first book.

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