In conjunction with National Tolkien Week (in which fans can celebrate the life and literature of this influential author), September 22nd has been designated as Hobbit Day. According to the American Tolkien Society, Hobbit Day is the day we celebrate the birth of the most special of hobbitses: Frodo Baggins. Happy birthday, sir!
Aside from throwing parties, celebrations, and feasts, Hobbit Day is a great time to think about the journeys of life. In the Lord of the Rings trilogy of books, a terrified Frodo faces what seems to be an impossible journey to Mount Doom with little hope of completing his quest. Too many people in our community are faced with another type of daunting challenge, one that may make them feel as lost and hopeless as young Frodo: the challenge of low literacy skills.
Luckily, Frodo was not alone! He was fortunate enough to have the earnest and stalwart friendship of Samwise Gamgee. As it says in the books “Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam.”* .The same is true of every adult learner who seeks to improve their life through literacy. Our volunteer tutors are the Samwise Gamgees of the Adult Education services here at Franklin County Literacy Council. Every person who chooses to accept the quest of aiding other adults on their difficult journey to lifelong learning opportunities becomes that student’s anchor, the light in the darkness, their greatest cheerleader.
On this most celebratory of days, please consider becoming someone’s Sam. If you are interested in sacrificing a little bit of time each week to lift and encourage the forward steps of our many Frodos, if you are interested in changing and helping to improve someone’s life, please contact us today.
*Full quote from Two Towers:
“Sam: I wonder if we’ll ever be put into songs or tales. Frodo: [turns around] What? Sam: I wonder if people will ever say, ‘Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring.’ And they’ll say ‘Yes, that’s one of my favorite stories. Frodo was really courageous, wasn’t he, Dad?’ ‘Yes, my boy, the most famousest of hobbits. And that’s saying a lot.’ Frodo: [continue walking] You’ve left out one of the chief characters – Samwise the Brave. I want to hear more about Sam. [stops and turns to Sam] Frodo: Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam. Sam: Now Mr. Frodo, you shouldn’t make fun; I was being serious. Frodo: So was I. [they continue to walk] Sam: Samwise the Brave…”
― J.R.R. Tolkien,