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Jerseys NFL Wholesale China and they said ‘Mrs. James

… Driven by a passion for reading“I tell them (parents) that reading is the foundation for all the subjects that they want their children to work hard on. I tell them that if you can read, you can learn your social studies… it’s the same with other subjects…you give yourself a gift when you learn to read.”By Michael JordanShe stood tall and she had a certain unconscious elegance, and I had to ask twice to make sure that I’d gotten her age right. But yes, Mrs. Pearl James really was 82 years old; a retired teacher who hasn’t really ‘retired’ at all.And her greatest achievement may be out of the formal classroom, in her quest to ensure that in this age of television, mobile phones and computers, the love of books and reading still endures in children.Mrs. James is the founder of the Kuru Kururu Book Club, which she founded some 25 years ago.She has taught one generation of children to develop a love for reading, and she is now passing on this same passion to the offspring of the children she taught a generation ago.“Teaching is my life,” she says. “And what I teach particularly is reading.”She was born on June 19, 1928 in Georgetown to parents Clarence and Edna Walcott, the third of 14 children—nine boys and five girls—-and spent her early years in a house in Charlotte Street.Her father was a cabinet maker, while her mother was a housewife.Back then,Wholesale Jerseys Online, there was no distraction of television and the internet. In fact, there was no electricity at all in the Walcott residence. But there were books, and little Pearl Walcott was an avid reader.“My parents accused me of reading when I should be working. We had kerosene lamps, and my mother used to complain of us using up her kerosene (while reading).”Her early schooling was at Bourda Roman Catholic, the St. Thomas More Roman Catholic,Wholesale NBA Jerseys China, and she later attended the Standard High School, which was in Robb Street near the Metropole Cinema. That was run by a Mr. W. Hoppie, who Mrs. James described as one of her favourite teachers.And she knew exactly what her career would be after leaving school.While other females her age were taking shorthand and typing to qualify for secretarial work and careers in the public service, she set her sights on becoming a teacher.Mrs. Pearl JamesAt the age of 18, she began teaching at Agricola Methodist, before moving on to Trinity Methodist.Tragedy struck the family when she was 20. Her mother passed away and the young teacher had to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of her younger siblings. She recalled reading to them often.She then taught at Kitty Methodist, remaining there for eight years before migrating to the United States in 1958. By then, she had become Mrs. Pearl James, having wed Mr. Clarence James, whom she met in Bartica.To teach in the US, she had to further her education.“Our teaching standards (in then British Guiana) were high back then, but to teach in the US you have to get your degree. I had to get my Teacher’s Certificate.”She was able to do this after enrolling in Cleveland State University.Her teaching experience in Guyana served her well.“I did not find it challenging. I had been teaching for eight years at a high level. Nine- to ten-year-olds were always my favourite age for teaching.“The children in the States always had access to information, even before computers. I encouraged children to read, and I had a lot of praise from parents who said that I had turned their kids on to reading.”She taught in Cleveland,Cheap NFL Jerseys, Ohio, and remained overseas for 20 years before returning to Guyana in 1978.Many parents of the children whom she had “turned on to reading” were upset at her departure. Some made her a promise to pass on this love of books to Guyanese children when she returned to her homeland.“The parents were very unhappy when I was leaving, and they said ‘Mrs. James, you should really continue to work with children.’”It’s a promise that she has continued to keep.After returning to Guyana, Mrs. James taught at the Mission School in Prashad Nagar. When she left that school she was close to 55, the age of retirement, and opted to retire. It was around then that the family, which included three daughters) moved to Kuru Kururu.And while she had ‘retired’ from formal teaching, the urge to teach remained. Back then, the small community off the Soesdyke/Linden highway to which she had moved had no library.Mrs. James had brought back several children’s books from her long overseas tenure. She decided to start a library for small children. It was then that she discovered a somewhat disturbing thing: Several of the children could not read.“Many could not read, at least at the level I had just left in the US. In my family, all the children learned to read from their teachers at school.  In the States, the school I taught at had good readers, and those who could not read well were taught by specialists. I had a daughter who had been reading since the age of four…and that is why I was so disturbed that children of that age (at Kuru Kururu) could not read.”For Mrs. James, there was only one option left. She began to teach.“I decided to start reading classes for the children in my community…and this was the nucleus for the Kuru Kururu Book Club.”She received permission from the agriculture officer, Mr. Hector Wharton, to use the lecture hall at the Kuru Kururu Agriculture Centre as a reading room. Her initial ‘class’ of about 12 consisted of the children of agriculture staffers in the community.A new generation of members of the Kuru Kururu Book ClubShe contacted relatives and friends “from all over the world,” who sent books in barrels and boxes. Later, she received assistance from the Guyana Book Foundation and from the Demerara Rotary Club,Wholesale Jerseys, and the Kuru Kururu Book Club, for children between the ages of five and 12, was established in 1986.At first, the reading classes were free. The children, who were later required to pay $20, now pay a $100 fee. Reading classes are held every Saturday from 14:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs.Mrs. James proudly asserts that she has taught a generation of children to read. She has now embarked on teaching another generation.“This is the second generation of children that are coming. Most of the children are the children of the first set of children that used to come. I have tributes of all kinds from parents and from children that I have helped.”Over the years, teachers at the Kuru Kururu Primary have assisted at the reading club.Thanks to their efforts, the Demerara Rotary Club helped establish a library in the community as an extension of the Kuru Kururu Book Club. Mrs. James says that people in other communities have established similar reading clubs.She explained that she tries to communicate the fact that reading should not be seen as a chore.“We have t-shirts that say “reading is important,Cheap China Jerseys, reading is life, reading is fun.” We do fun things to keep them coming.”But one may ask: why this emphasis on reading?“I tell them (parents) that reading is the foundation for all the subjects that they want their children to work hard on. I tell them that if you can read, you can learn your social studies… it’s the same with other subjects…you give yourself a gift when you learn to read.”“It is badly needed. It was badly needed long ago,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, and it is needed even more now. When I first started the book club, many of the parents could help (their children to read). Now, many parents are illiterate and the children are illiterate.”And she observed that boys made up most of the children who were poor readers.“I have always been partial to boys and when boys can’t read it makes me sad.”She believes that one of the reasons for this is that many boys believe that reading is not ‘macho.’”But Mrs. James most certainly has been doing a lot right, because the Kuru Kururu Book Club has been going strong for 25 years and its founder and members are preparing the club’s anniversary “in a big way” in April. This will include a church service, a book fair and book sale, art competition, a concert at the Kuru Kururu Primary School, and an African fashion show.Mrs. Pearl James, what a special person!
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