Thought for sure school visits were out of the question this year. But took the opportunity to plug Wadadli Pen during a recent visit to Buckley’s Primary with Cushion Club volunteer Cedric who’s adopted the school and has for several years on behalf of the Cushion Club given a prize for the Grade 6 student who’s made the most strides and/or shown the most consistency in the humanities subjects. As the saying goes, when opportunity knocks. This school actually had the most submissions in 2005 after I was able to make a series of visits reading to them and talking to them about story writing and also because the teacher at the time was highly motivated in this regard and pulled the same kind of enthusiasm out of them.
In 2011 Keillia Mentor from the school made the top three in the 12 and younger. I’m expecting promising things from them this year as well. Of course, when I mentioned to them that there’s a prize for the school with the most submissions so they should spread the word to the other classes, one boy piped up “uh-uh, grade six”… so I guess I can expect submissions from the grade six class anyway. Glad I got the chance to chat with them and get them excited about the Challenge. Wish time and resources allowed for more of these school visits, but here’s hoping teachers, and parents, youth workers, and more help get young Antiguan and Barbudan writers and artists in their spheres of influence excited about taking the Challenge. The kids will thank you in the end.