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I’ve sent the group to the beach! it is day 8 and to be in Jamaica and not to have been to the beach is a crime! So they have gone! Some of the wearing Factor 50!!
Today is Conner Rich’s 16th birthday. At breakfast this morning he had a table to himself and girlfriend Meghan. All the group had bought him a little present and tonight he gets a birthday meal of pizza and chips - his choice!
Last night our three Head Teachers joined us for dinner. Lambert, Duen and Desland. Three true friends. Plenty of political conversation and plenty of laughter. Desland and Lambert asked about Kaye who hosted them when they visited England. They have a real soft spot for Kaye, as do I. Desland never fails to ask about Mam Margaret and Duen talks of Gladys a.k.a. the irreplaceable Mrs Short. The time with our Head Teachers went far too quickly as did the time in their schools.
One thing has become clear in our time here: the project cannot and will not end. It’s too good and come too far. So on return home we will set up the separate committee our parents have asked to form, plus young members, plus great community people like Helen Morley. My first goal is to bring some Jamaicans in September to England. So let’s see what we can do . . . ?
We have written personal evaluations today. I might share some? I don’t know. All I can say is that people have been on some mighty journeys . . . . there are quotes from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and also a quote saying the project has to continue because ‘He who cometh after me is mightier than I, who’s shoes I am not fit to wear’. The literacy work is superb which demonstrates the need for a real and creative education. If young people are inspired then they love to write. I know all learning cannot take place on the scale of a Jamaica Difference, but one experience sch as this can be life changing and worth thousands in return. One of the lads related his experiences to the study of classical Greek theatre at A’Level. Another to help them get through a difficult experience. I could go on and on. Put simply . . . it has worked.
I haven’t had chance to tell you the comedy moments yet! We have had some pretty daft comments. But I will save that till after we finish the BATHroom tomorrow at Brightly Beam . .. . now that I cannot wait for!!
King James I Academy, South Church Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7JZ