Verdie Grant, a neighbor of the Walton family, is illiterate, a fact that she has tried to keep a secret. Her daughter is about to graduate from college though, and she plans to go to visit for the graduation, and wants nothing more than to be able to sign her name on the register, and be able to read the menu when she goes out to dinner. She sees how patient John Boy is when he is teaching Elizabeth to read and write and feels that he will be the perfect teacher for her.
Her chance comes when Olivia and Esther go visiting relatives for a wedding and Erin becomes sick and needs her tonsils removed. Verdie is asked to look after Erin while the women of the family are away. John Boy begins teaching her how to read and write as part of a game of playing school with Elizabeth. Verdie eventually does tell John Boy the truth, and the two continue with their lessons, with John Boy under strict instructions not to tell anybody. Word does get back to Verdie though, when Elizabeth tells her school teacher, Miss Hunter, the lie that she couldn't do her homework because John Boy was using her book to teach Mrs Grant to read.
- Lynn Hamilton as Verdie Foster
- Mariclare Costello as Miss Hunter
- This episode the winner of the Emmy for Writer of a Drama Series for a Single Program.