School Visit – Blanchisseuse Government Primary School

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Last Friday I did something that I had never done before; I visited a school in the capacity of an author. The school was Blanchisseuse Government Primary School. As a ‘brain cooler’ Ms. Noreiga, the teacher who jointly teaches standard four and five read Selima and the Merfolk to her class. She read a few pages a day until they completed the book a few months ago. During the weeks Ms. Noreiga read the book to her class she would send me messages, telling me how much her class was enjoying the book and how insistent they were that she read to them every day. The children also sent messages through her, my favourite was that the book should be a movie. With all those beautiful, encouraging messages I promised that I would visit these students and read to them as they had requested.

It is good manners and good practice never to visit people (especially children) without carrying a gift of some sort. Fortunately, I was able to organize quite a few treats for the students. Brand Manager for Marios Pizzeria Limited, Ms. Amrita Bajnath accompanied me. The children received Ms. Bajnath with open arms; they were very responsive to her. Marios Pizzeria Limited donated books to the school as well as several pizza vouchers with certificates of achievement for the many challenges the children enthusiastically participated in.  British Gas Trinidad and Tobago donated books to the school as well, and Movie Towne donated movie passes that we used as prizes for the challenges. Selima and the Merfolk T-shirts were also given as prizes.

The pictures speak for themselves. We had a BALL!!!!! Not only did we have the most beautiful setting, under the shade of a cashew tree, our backdrop was an unhindered view of the ocean. The weather was fantastic, and the clean, strong ocean breeze only added to the experience.

Among other things we spoke about folklore; three students even told me stories. I read to them from what I had selected, and what they spontaneously requested I read. All the children were in full participation, so much so that Ms. Bajnath had to step in to help me choose students to answer the questions.  What was most outstanding to me was that the students who knew the story (some standard three students joined us) still remembered so many details. It has been several months since they heard the story.

I hoped that my visit would be pleasant, needless to say, it exceeded my expectations, and I think the teachers and Ms. Bajnath’s as well.

Thank you to the teachers and students of Blanchisseuse Government Primary School. You have made my first school visit such a success and a fantastic experience. I would surely visit the school again when book two is published.

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More photos can be view on our facebook page Selima and the Merfolk

All photos were taken by  Spawn Software Designs

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