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'Passing on her passion': Remarkable kid spends time giving back by teaching children how to read

Each day this week, we're introducing you to remarkable kids. Today, we meet a girl who is passing on her passion.

Each day this week, we're introducing you to remarkable kids. Today, we meet a girl who is passing on her passion.

In many ways, Cylee Maberry is like a lot of girls her age. She likes to express herself with her hair and clothes. 

"I was known as the colored hair girl," said Maberry. "I wear all black because black, it's dark and doesn't bring attention to me much," she said.

She's enjoying the freedom of summer, before heading to a new school next month.

"This is a whole new place, and that's just so scary to me," she admitted.

To escape, she dives into books. Some of her earliest memories revolve around reading with her late grandmother.

"Before I was in pre-k," she remembered, "we would read at the table. We would just sit there every day reading until I was really good at it."

What separates Cylee as a remarkable kid is the time she spends giving back.

"I just feel really good helping," she said.

It all started with girl scouts.

"We did it once and I was like 'oh my goodness this is so much fun,'" she said.

She was hooked. Collecting items for Hurricane Harvey victims, food for the homeless and books for the Ronald McDonald house.

"I remember when we gave books to this one kid," she recalled, "he was so happy. His excitement was like 'oh my goodness.'"

"She's always wanted to help, even when she was little," Cylee's mom, Stacy Collins said. "We saw a poster for the Jacksonville animal shelter where they were needing supplies. She jumped right on that. 'Let's go help the animals!' We walked around the neighborhood -- it was summertime, middle of June, she didn't care about the heat, she just wanted to collect."

Cylee left scouts a few years ago, but continues to give, spending her summer teaching kids how to read.

"We'll find a book that they'll know some of the words in," she explained, "and we'll sound each word so they can read."

The hardest thing for her to get past is "their attention span," she said. 

"Five seconds, they'll be doing one thing and then see a ball bouncing and be like, 'oh there's a ball, a dog, a cat,'" she said. "It's exciting to teach them. I don't know why, but teaching is fun. Their excitement when they can show their parents they can read, like I can do this now."

Cylee Maberry, a remarkable kid, spending her summer finding happiness. And perhaps her purpose.

"I don't think about anything else," she admitted, "I think about helping children and it just makes me so happy."

Cylee's mom said she would love to see her little girl become a teacher. Cylee said she hasn't decided just yet what she'd like to do.

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