BOUNTIFUL -- Doug Osmond, member of the Osmond Second Generation singers, visited Valley View Elementary School on Wednesday, talking about his life growing up in the entertainment business and the importance of reading.
Osmond began singing and performing with his family at the age of 3 and has spent his life performing around the world. Osmond told students that music is powerful, but he has since discovered something even more powerful than music.
"Reading books is powerful, because it brings out a lot of emotion," Osmond said during an assembly for nearly 300 students from grades three through six. "Did you know that nearly every single political and social change has been started with a book? Now that's powerful."
Osmond spoke about some of the successes he has seen in the music business, including 40 hit records in the United Kingdom and a No. 1 album in Canada, but he confessed to having seen a lot of failures too.
"Yes, failing is embarrassing and can be painful, but you learn how to avoid that in the future. Every one of us in this room can fail, but that doesn't make you a failure -- just learn to grow from it," Osmond said.
Osmond told students that when his longtime friend Richard Paul Evans wrote the first Michael Vey book for young adults, Evans was told it wouldn't be successful and that he should scrap the idea.
"However, he believed in himself and found a way to make it happen, and it became a New York Times bestseller," said Osmond, who is touring hundreds of schools in the state in conjunction with Evan's Michael Vey books to promote literacy.
"I'm hoping students across the state will gain a desire to read more, be educated heroes and encourage them to dream big and pursue their goals," Osmond said.
Osmond also spent time talking about one of the heroes in Evans' Michael Vey books, referring to the main character, who was born with electrical powers. The boy joins forces with other kids who have similar superpowers as they combat an evil group attempting to take over the world.
"I have found that there is a common theme that people like to read about the most -- superheroes," Osmond said. "Heroes all have something in common. They are honest, educate themselves, are respectful of other people's feelings and are obedient."
The talk about heroes coincided with the school's Valley View heroes program.
"We want our kids to be more motivated and excited about reading, and, hopefully, they will catch the vision of his hero presentation," said Principal Mary Memmott.
After taking time to quiz the students on their knowledge of popular books, Osmond finished up by telling them, "I hope you guys learn to love reading, because it is so important and critical. It's also important to be heroes for each other, by being respectful and obedient."
Sixth-grader Carolyn Kurban was encouraged by what Osmond had to say about pursuing their dreams.
"I would like to be a major league softball player because that sport is such a big part of my life," said Carolyn. "After hearing him talk, I feel like I can do anything, and that if I want something in life, I have to just go for it."
Sixth-grader Benjamin Devries already has a love of reading, especially fantasy and nonfiction science books, as he prepares to be a doctor when he grows up. Benjamin was interested to hear what Osmond had to say about how to fail and succeed.
"My favorite part was hearing him talk about when you fail, you just have to get back up and keep trying, and eventually you will succeed," Benjamin said. "I love reading about science and inventions in history, and a lot of inventors had so many failures before they finally got it right."