Thousands of children. Eleven banners. Elaborate costumes and props ranging from owl masks and wings, to cars, bicycles and special visors with math poetry on them. Chanting. Singing. The stadium rang with their voices and could barely contain their enthusiasm. We walked beside the young readers and talked. I made a game of making rhyming couplets with their names. “Miss, miss…do one for me!” Their eyes lit up, they laughed and bounced. I asked one girl what she would do if she had lots of money like Spendosaur, what she would buy She replied without hesitation, “I’d buy a book!” Not a video game or a toy, but a book. That was pretty amazing.
We paraded in to the grounds to be greeted by the Governor General, prayer, song, speeches and a full day of literacy related activities. Peggy Collins and myself manned a table where Peggy taught them how to draw dragons and I got them to act, chant and dance to the poems in the book. Then they did a 2 D shape activity where they created creatures, aliens, dragons, homes, rocket ships…anything their imaginations could conjure up. I made my way around and talked to them, asking questions…where will your rocket ship go? Who is in it? Who will you meet when you land? What does the planet look like? Before they knew it, they had created vibrant narratives of their own. They were so proud to share their pictures. “Miss! Miss! Look at mine!” My whole being smiled as I agreed they were works of art to be cherished.
Tomorrow we do it all again in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island. Until then, I shall be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the rainforest…tree frogs, crickets, from the canopy above and dream of inspiration.