Trilby Beresford
March 26, 2016 10:18 am
Yahoo News

James Samuel knew a love letter was the best way to thank his wife for her encouragement on a difficult issue: learning to read. Many of us take reading and writing for granted, because we basically do it all day every day. But in some places, basic education leaves struggling students behind, leading to staggering illiteracy rates in cities like Detroit.

James Samuel is an adult in Detroit who fell into that category. Back when he was in school, the only thing he could spell was his name. Teachers didn’t pay enough attention, and James was always embarrassed. As a result, he fell further and further behind and eventually left school unable to read or write.

However at age 56, he’s taking matters into his own hands, learning to read thanks to his wife and the Detroit Public Library. Through the library, James is able to participate in a non-profit program called Reading Works, which is dedicated to improving adult literacy levels.

After James mastered reading at a first-grade level, one of the first things he wrote was a letter to his wife. And this wasn’t just any old letter, we’re talking about a letter that’s full of so much love, we became teary eyed. James read his letter to Katie Couric on Yahoo News, “You are the best friend I ever had. I love you, love you. You are the best woman that I ever loved. You have helped me to grow. Without you, I would never be here today.”

Hopefully James and his story will inspire other adults to learn to read, and they can take a stab at their own letters (because come on, any excuse for a good love letter!). We love you too, James.