hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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June 13, 2013

Meet Haverhill's whiz kid

From volunteerism to straight A's to dancing, this 10-year-old does almost everything

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Maybe she’ll be a scientist, or maybe a teacher, as she loves teaching her little cousin how to read.

“Sometimes I read books to her and, when she has trouble with a word, I tell her to sound it out,” Ryleigh said. “I write short stories and I’d like to write a book someday.

“My favorite subject is writing and, if I was a teacher, I’d help kids learn to read and write,” she said.

When a new student arrived at her school this year and the school was informed he had an allergy to peanuts, Ryleigh noticed that he was sitting alone at a lunch table every day, even though other children were allowed to sit with him. Ryleigh decided to be the first to make the bold move of sitting with the boy, and then other children followed her lead.

“Now we all sit with him every single day, unless we have something with peanuts, then we have to go to another table,” Ryleigh said. “I think he feels like he has friends now.”

Ryleigh is also a dedicated, hard-working and award-winning dancer who competes in seven different routines including tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, acrobatics, lyrical acrobatics, and two different jazz routines.

“It’s really fun to be with my friends and dance at the same time,” Ryleigh said.

“I only watch TV in the morning for a few minutes when having breakfast,” Ryleigh said. “I watch a little on the weekend, but I’m usually doing other stuff, including dance.”

“One day she came home and said she wanted to run track and I said, ‘all you have available is Thursday,” her mother said. “She said, ‘Well look mom, I can do it. I don’t have anything going on and I want to try it. It will be fun.’”

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