Star Student

It's difficult to hear 8-year-old Abbi Wade. Shyness quiets her voice but not her smile, which isn't hesitant at all.

Abbi has a lot of friends "because I'm so nice," she said.

Shyness doesn't preclude honesty.

"I'm nice because my mom and dad teached me right," she said.

They did well according to East Elementary School Principal Diana Cook, who said the third-grader is very kind.

"She says to be a good friend you have to be nice to people, and she's very nice to people," Cook said.

Abbi loves to read, and her favorite books are about wolves.

"You learn new words and you learn about wolves," she said.

She enjoys school, particularly math and science -- science because students get to make bugs. Abbi spent Friday crafting a ladybug using clay and bits of a plastic straw.

Her love of reading helps make her a great writer, said her tea-ch-er, Sue Beach-man.

"She's hardworking and kindhearted," Beachman said. "She writes great stories, too."

After school, Abbi says she gets to play until 4 p.m. and then she has to do her homework, which includes a sheet of math problems her father makes for her. When she's finished, she gets to play again.

Abbi said she likes to play with horses, Barbies and baby dolls.

She sometimes plays with her 5-year-old brother, who makes her play with cars.

"I do it because he hits me," she said with a broad smile. "He drives me crazy sometimes."

Before she goes to bed, she reads -- sometimes on her own, sometimes to her parents and brother.

Abbi spent part of the summer in Santa Fe, N.M., visiting her grandparents and the rest she spent swimming.

Despite her love of school, Abbi still professes to love summer break more.

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