Tag Archives: Clare Hall Secondary

Book Drive

This one comes to my attention via the Daily Observer newspaper. It’s an opportunity to share gently-used used books and/or maybe buy a book and contribute. It’s got an interesting twist.

The Clare Hall Secondary School is inviting Antiguans and Barbudans to contribute to the DARE to DEAR – Drop Everything And Read – 2020 book drive.

Step 1

Send a video recording about your favourite book (or a book you like)… or a book you read…or …maybe, wrote?

Step 2

Donate a copy or multiple copies of that book to our school library.

Step 3

To follow through on Step or make inquiries about Steps 1 or 2 or any part of Dare to DEAR, call 462-3487 or email admin@chss.edu.ag

Step 4

Complete Steps 1-3 by December 2020 in time for Christmas and make someone very happy.

Images and vids in this post are not related to the 2020 DARE to DEAR but used to enhance this posting. They include, top down, a video from an out-store event hosted in 2020 (just a week or so ago) by the Best of Books at which I talked about my book Musical Youth; an image of me with a teacher, Ms. Shadrach, from a 2015 visit to Clare Hall Secondary School during which I gifted the school Musical Youth and other CODE Burt Award winning teen/young adult novels; images of books, exterior and inscription, I gifted, via a teacher at the school, for last year’s CHSS Christmas book drive. I want any young person who cracks these books to be as inspired as I was when writing.

Be the inspiration in someone’s life if you have the funds to add an extra book to your book drive, or a book lying around that you enjoyed and want someone else to enjoy. Give.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, its Spanish language edition Perdida! , and Oh Gad! ). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Books for 1735: This is a Picture Post

But first, the back story. Ayanna Shadrach, a teacher at Clare Hall Secondary, last November collected a couple boxes of books from me as part of her drive to donate books to the Antigua and Barbuda prison (the titular 1735 named above, otherwise known as the place behind the big red gate). In all, with the help of her students, she collected over 500 used books but if you’ve been following the travails of the prison, you know about the contagions (chicken pox etc.) that mitigated against access for a time. Seems the clouds have parted and Ms. Shadrach and her students were finally able to deliver the books to the prison. I thought it would be cool to share them here as an example of young people doing positive things. See below. No, first, read about Ms. Shadrach and her project here, then see below.

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Author’s Day at Clare Hall Secondary

I decided to schedule a series of school visit (about one per week) during the month of February 2015. Clare Hall Secondary was easily the first school to respond. My visit coincided with the schools’ event celebrating local authors so that in addition to a small group session with some fourth formers, I got to share the stage for a more expansive session with Lionel Max Hurst (author of Democracy by Diplomacy), Timothy Payne (author of Village Life), Sylvanus Barnes (author of Barney’s Wit ‘n Wisdom), and Floree Williams (author of Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses). I read from Musical Youth. Here are some highlights of that session in the schools’ auditorium – images provided by CHSS.

Timothy Payne was a hit thanks in part to two hitting devices including this one both a device of pain and punishment, and jam bulldisplays once upon an Antigua.

Timothy Payne was a hit thanks in part to two hitting devices including this one both a device of pain and punishment, and jam bull displays once upon an Antigua.

This is Glen from the Best of Books. They’ll be partnering with me at each of my tour stops.

This is Glen from the Best of Books. They’ll be partnering with me at each of my tour stops.

Me. Either dancing or using my body to make a point. You decide.

Me. Either dancing or using my body to make a point. You decide.

This young writer (she says she's a future lawyer) interacts with gathered writers.

This young writer (she says she’s a future lawyer) interacts with gathered writers.

The poster hanging during the presentation in the auditorium. I guess I shouldn't have asked the students to name two authors not present for a prize with this poster hanging right behind me, huh? They guessed Sharon James and Joy Lawrence.

The poster hanging during the presentation in the auditorium. I guess I shouldn’t have asked the students to name two authors not present for a prize with this poster hanging right behind me, huh? They guessed Sharon James and Joy Lawrence.

The prizes were copies of books by the Burt Award winning authors - Inner City Girl and All Over Again - consistent with CODE's mission to get copies into the hands of Caribbean teens.

The prizes were copies of books by the Burt Award winning authors – Inner City Girl and All Over Again – consistent with CODE’s mission to get copies into the hands of Caribbean teens.

Some of the students.

Some of the students.

W/teacher Ms. Shadrach (standing) and visiting authors (seated) from left Max Hurst, Timothy Payne, and Sylvanus Barnes.

W/teacher Ms. Shadrach (standing) and visiting authors (seated) from left Max Hurst, Timothy Payne, and Sylvanus Barnes.

Sylvanus Barnes.

Sylvanus Barnes.

Floree Williams during her presentation.

Floree Williams during her presentation.

Max Hurst presenting on his books including Vere Cornwall Bird , When Power Failed to Corrupt.

Max Hurst presenting on his books including Vere Cornwall Bird , When Power Failed to Corrupt.

And so it went.

And so it went.

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The Day I Saw Evil by Liscia Lawrence

[2004 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Honourable Mention]


I spent some part of every summer at my grandmother’s until I was around fourteen years old. The times I spent there were full of excitement and great wonder.

My grandmother lived on the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. A place where clear water ran from mountains and hills, where fruits grew, Hot Springs formed and big green forest dominated. These natural beauties are short-lived. When the night came and all was still, that was the time to fear most. That was the time evil would show its ugly face.

I can still remember the solemn twilight, the mysteries of the nature island, the earthy smells mixed with the faint odours of wild flowers, growing somewhere in the forest behind the house, often drifted through my room window. I could hear the far-off howling of a dog and the nearby hissing of a snake, which sent shivers down my spine. From my room window, I saw only the snapshot glimpses of disturbed creatures scurrying through the tall grass and splashing through the nearby river that ran down from the back of our garden.

It so happened that one particular night, my grandmother and I had gone to bed early. This was to get an early start on the garden. It was about 4 a.m. and I had just been awakened by my grandmother so that we could leave, since we had such a long way to travel, around three miles. The cold morning air encircled me as if to lift me off of the ground. Grandma and I were both dressed in long jeans, boots and a big tee-shirt. Hugging myself tightly, I walked on behind grandma. Although it was freezing, grandma walked on strongly as if she felt nothing, but then again, I guess she really felt nothing. The big dirt road, which grandma and I walked along, was lined with huge trees, which seemed to be reaching down to grab. The place held a deafening silence, which was only broken by the continuous dragging of our feet. Even the clouds deserted the black sky, walking with the stars and leaving the moon as the only source of light. Something about the way the moon shone and its huge size sent chills down my spine. This was the time for evil.

As we continued walking, grandma told jokes and we sang songs to lessen the mile. As we neared the garden, granny inquired, to herself, about the readiness of the yams. The garden we had intended to raid of its provision belonged to one of grannie’s friends, Mr. Mandie, who had given her permission to dig yams.

As we reached to a part where the road branched off to the left, a funny feeling, which I still cannot explain, came over me. Granny and I turned left and then right. As we made our way along the narrow path that lead to the garden, a bright light suddenly appeared before us.

It was told that Mr. Mandie was a dealing man, a man who left his skin at night and travelled through the air in bright lights looking for blood. As I looked upon the light, I froze suddenly in my position. The light seemed hypnotic. I felt a force upon me, holding me and pinning me to the ground. My head became heavy, the hair on my back, neck and hands all stood up and my body felt as if it wasn’t mine because of the weight which had seized it.

As I looked on, the light seemed to be coming down the hill towards us but still it couldn’t seem to reach. All the time, my head became heavier and it became more impossible for me to move. My granny was at my side saying something, talking to the light. The more she talked, the faster the light came towards us but never quite reaching. I heard granny speaking but it was as if she spoke another language, since I couldn’t understand a single [word] she uttered. I heard her call my name but I wondered whose name it was. I wanted to scream but nothing came from my mouth. I then felt myself being drawn backwards, further from the light until I was upon the road.

Granny had turned her clothes onto the other side and had lead me out of the garden backwards. She said that if we had turned our backs upon the light, we would have surely died. As we quietly hurried home, we heard the cock crow.

THE END

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Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse – coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, and author of The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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