Something I’ve tried to do over the years to promote Wadadli Pen is liaise with the schools: visiting schools, emailing and phoning and talking in person with teachers; sending letters through the Ministry of Education; delivering letters directly to the schools and following up; doing workshops with young people in and out of schools; posting flyers on noticeboards. It can be a time consuming task (and challenging because of it given work and personal obligations) but it can create greater awareness among the schools and more importantly the young people who are the target of our annual Challenge. I have never been able to plan a full on schools awareness campaign the way I’d like but I’ve been to schools and other members of the Wadadli Pen team (past winner Devra Thomas who did some work in this regard a couple of years ago comes to mind). This year, Antiguan writer and folk historian Joy Lawrence decided to take up this ball and run with it, and, boy, is she running. Her latest correspondence informs me that she has already made contact with the schools and has “some enthusiastic invitations which I’ll confirm soon”.
She’s (so far) confirmed for
- Kids Unlimited, Scotts Hill on 28th October 2013
- Glanvilles Secondary on 29th October 2013*
- Trinity Academy, Christian Valley on 8th November 2013
- and St. Michaels, private primary, on 6th November 2013
*(Incidentally, this and my invitation to speak at St. John’s Catholic Primary on 29th October 2013 are Independence related but still an opportunity to put forward our message and promote expression among the young people)
I know Joy was a little overwhelmed when she realized the scope of this role but she’s leaping into it and (having done this myself for many years I appreciate how overwhelming it can be and as such appreciate her taking the bull by the horns). She won’t be able to visit all the schools or even all the classes of the schools she does visit, but where she does touch down I believe it will make a difference. I thank her for stepping up and getting the ball rolling on this.