Tinley Park boy gets letter, autographed picture from President Obama
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY Sun-Times Media email@example.com March 1, 2013 8:48PM
Dorothy Grisco, of Matteson, sent President Obama a picture of her 8-year-old grandson, Nik, reading a book about him. President Obama responded to them with a letter, autographed portrait, and a picture of his dog. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 3, 2013 6:19AM
Except for annual birthday cards, 8-year-old Nikolas Grisco doesn’t get much mail.
But a large manila envelope addressed to the Tinley Park boy arrived last week — its contents more significant than he realizes now.
“At least he spelled my name right,” was Nik’s initial reaction to receiving a letter and photos from President Barack Obama.
Obama is the first president the second-grader remembers. During Obama’s first campaign for president, whenever Nik would see him on TV, he would repeat Obama’s name over and over, his family said.
The fact he is the first black president makes his signature and letter all the more special, said Nik’s grandma, Matteson village clerk Dorothy Grisco .
Enclosed in the envelope with the four-sentence letter were an 8-by-10-inch autographed photo of Obama; a picture of the family’s Portuguese water dog, Bo, and a diagram of the interior of the White House.
Nik clearly favored the picture of Bo.
The letter was brief but inspiring:
Communicating with America’s next generation is an important part of my job as President, and I appreciate the opportunity to write to you.
Our country’s continued success will depend on young people like you, and you can play a part in helping America win the future. I encourage you to always dream big, try to improve the lives of others, and aim for excellence in all that you do. By working hard in school and serving your community, you can help build a better tomorrow for our Nation.
Sincerely, Barack Obama”
The letter was in response to one sent by Nik’s grandma in October.
More than a year ago, Nik brought home a book about Obama from the library at Millennium Elementary School. His grandma took a photo of Nik reading the book and sent it to the president last fall.
“I thought nothing would happen,” Grisco said.
In her letter to Obama, Grisco wrote that Nik selected the book on his own and showed it to other kids, asking if they knew who Obama was.
“Sorry to say, they didn’t know,” she wrote.
Grisco — an Obama supporter — said she had never written to a president before, but she thought the photo was “cute.”
Obama apparently thought so, too.
Nik’s mom, Michelle Grisco, said he’ll take it to school to show his classmates before the letter is saved for posterity.
“I don’t think he realizes what he’s got,” she said.