Dozens of primary school children were given an end of term treat when The Toy Project from London, England paid a visit to the Spice Isle.
Charity founder and director Jane Garfield and charity volunteer Hazel Lambert came armed with books, puppets, costumes, masks, face paints and fun school supplies specially to entertain the children. They gave storytelling and puppet show performances at a total of 6 locations spanning 3 parishes. Their visit was organised in conjunction with Hillary Gabriel from the Grenada National Council for the Disabled (GNCD) and very kindly facilitated by the Coyaba hotel.
At each school the charity workers brought a whole new dimension to storytelling, as they read stories to the children and used puppets, costumes and masks, to bring the characters to life. It was a fully interactive experience as many of the children became involved by acting out various roles with their puppets, much to the fun and amusement of their classmates.
“By modelling storytelling to teachers and children in a hands-on and child-focused way, we were able to encourage deeper and more meaningful connections to the children’s experience of learning,” said Garfield. “We hope that by bringing this model and leaving the resources for the schools to use, this creative and interactive way of sharing stories will continue to develop.”
Jane Garfield and Hazel Lambert, who have over 40 years teaching experience between them, lit up many children’s faces in schools from the Grenville School for Special Needs in St Andrew, to St Dominic’s and St Theresa’s RC Schools in St David, and St Paul’s Government School and the Grand Anse School for Special Needs both in St George. After the shows, all the books and puppets and other props were donated to the teachers, along with more supplies and even puppet theatres so the ideas and items could be re-used by the teachers and pupils in their classes on a regular basis.
However, when the 2 charity workers visited the Dorothy Hopkins Home, the tables were turned, as the children there welcomed The Toy Project by putting on a show of their own especially for Garfield and Lambert to watch when they went to make their book and puppet donation.
“I think this was a thrilling activity, which the children will definitely hold in their memory,” said Gabriel. “I would like to sincerely thank The Toy Project and by extension Jane and Hazel for coming to Grenada to do this activity. I also thank the Coyaba hotel for coming on board and demonstrating their corporate social responsibility towards persons with disabilities. This is a great gesture by all concerned which the GNCD really appreciates.”