Friday, September 9, 2011

09/09 Library gift a tribute to U.S. teacher lost in tsunami

The Yomiuri Shimbun

ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi--The family of an American woman who died in the March 11 tsunami has presented students at a primary school in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, with a collection of 40 of her favorite books.

"I hope you'll read these books, find your dreams and live with courage, like my daughter did," Andy Anderson, 54, said Tuesday to a group of about 60 students during a presentation ceremony at Mangokuura Primary School.

Taylor Anderson, 24, was from the U.S. state of Virginia. She came to Japan in 2008 and worked as an assistant English teacher at several primary and middle schools in Ishinomaki.

On the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake, she made sure her students at Mangokuura were safely evacuated. On her way home, she was killed by the tsunami.

A school Taylor attended in the United States helped establish a fund to buy the book collection, which has been dubbed the "Taylor Library."

"When she was young, once she started reading a book, there was no stopping her. She would read and let her imagination take over," her father said at the ceremony.

Taylor's dream was to become a conduit between Japan and the United States and reading books led to the realization of her dream.

On behalf of all the students, Kaito Hikichi, 12, thanked Taylor's family in English.

"Miss Taylor talked about Harry Potter, and I felt close to her. I'll think of this book as a symbol of her, and take good care of it," Hikichi said.

Taylor's family plans to also present books to the other six schools where Taylor worked.

(Sep. 9, 2011)

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