Although Sophia Pearlman lives 2,500 miles away in Ladera Ranch, California, her ties to West Virginia are strong. Last spring, when the ten year-old, fifth grader was assigned to write a state report, she chose the mountain state. Her grandmother, Sandra White Pearlman, was from Lewisburg, and Sophia had heard many stories about the beauty and culture of the area. In addition, her great aunt Layuna Rapp lives in Renick.
To research the state, Sophia began by contacting her great aunt who provided her not only with valuable information, but also Ms. Rapp’s mother’s recipe for cornbread that has been in the family for generations. Sophia then contacted Governor Earl Ray Tomblin whose timely response included a valuable packet of information. Ms. Rapp is extremely proud of her great niece and commented, “Even though Sophia is thousands of miles away, our families remain connected through education and West Virginia traditions.”