Monday, February 21, 2011

Neil Jones introduces us to Gabriela Jones

By Jerry Gaudet

Neil Jones calls our attention to the cover of last month’s Western North Carolina Parent Magazine which features a great picture of his daughter Holly Jones, her husband Bob Falls, and Gabriela Jones Falls, Neil’s granddaughter.  

The magazine contains an article about international adoptions; and since Holly had adopted Gabriela Jones from Guatemala, the article was included relating Holly and Bob's experience.

Holly is a busy girl in addition to being a mom as she remains the CEO for the YWCA in Asheville, and is currently serving her first term on the Buncombe County Commission, after completing two consecutive terms on the Asheville City Council.

Our proud classmate, F. O'Neil Jones can be reached at:


A Dads View
(Reprinted from Parents Magazine)

By Bob Falls

Shortly after Gabriela started first grade, she came home and was just beaming. She told us that she had a “green dot” day at school.

When asked for more information, she told us that she got a green dot if she did a good job that day, a yellow dot if she did an okay job but nothing outstanding, and a red dot if she had messed up or got in trouble at school.

Each day brought with it the announcement of the green dot she had earned that day. We had heard good things about Gabriela’s first grade teacher and we now thought she was brilliant. This simple activity of rewarding a green dot motivated our little girl every day to excel not only at school but also at home. We looked forward to expressing our appreciation at our first parent-teacher conference day.

Gabriela and Dad
We met Gabriela’s teacher at our appointed time and she quickly brought out Gabriela’s notebooks and showed us her achievements as well as areas in which she still needed some work. The report was very organized and informative. When she had finished, she asked us if we had any questions or comments.

At that point, we could barely contain ourselves and gushed forth our appreciation for her as a teacher and especially for her strategy of issuing green dots. We thanked her for the transformation these dots had brought about for Gabriela and for our family. She listened and her expression was completely puzzled

. She asked, “What are you talking about?” We told her about the dots she gives out each day and described the green, yellow and red dots and what each meant. She told us that she had never heard of any dots. There were certainly none given out in her classroom.

We were two stunned parents.

We asked Gabriela about this and she quickly said the teacher didn’t give out the dots. Gabriela would give them to herself each day. There were never any “real” dots. No “real” dots? No “real” dots? One of the things that I love about being married to Holly and being Gabriela’s father is that all of us knew as sure as we knew anything in this world that those “green dots” were indeed real. Our little six year old had created a short hand way for each of us to quickly evaluate our day and we continue to do that every day.

One of my proudest moments was her last day of second grade. She had not missed a day all year long and her reward from us was clear. When she came home that afternoon she found on our front door 180 green dots, one for each day of the year.

So, I will continue to nurture my daughter as the years pass and I will also continue to listen and learn from her all that she has to teach me on her journey. May all of you have a green dot day.