(Posted by Flavia Ferrao)
It is the Library in Schools (LiS) program that has brought meaning to Dr. Seuss’ legendary vocabulary for me, until now; there were a whole lot of nonsense words, most of the time.
As far as our sessions in Auxilum, Carona were concerned, the 18th of December 2013, was Wacky Wednesday. We were warned about this, when we spoke to the Principal the previous week. Practices for the School’s Annual Day programme would take up most of the day, since that function was to be held the following Saturday. But the LiS worm is one stubborn creature – the (library) show would go on even if there were only 10 children in class.
There were four of us that Wednesday, two RPs for each division. This was the last library session that classes 2A and 2B would have before the start of the Christmas holidays, and Isa had planned the creation of a collaborative poster based on the Season – each class that day would work on some part of it. Krystal suggested that she would read The Snowman Storybook to class 2B while class 2A worked on the poster first, during the first half of the 70 minute session. After 35 minutes, 2B would work on the poster, while 2A participated in the story. There are 62 children altogether in both divisions. The library session was to commence at 11.05 am, after the mid-morning break.
Everything (but me) was in place well before 11.05 am. As I entered the school premises at 11.00 am, I was greeted by the sound of music – from a group of children singing carols accompanied by a keyboard – the one on which you can play music, not the one on which you type. There were a few other groups of teachers and children on the playground, but this was not a typical mid-morning-break scene. I seemed to be the only one who did not know what was going on.
I asked a teacher whether break time was over early that day and she said that the bell for the start of the mid-morning break would be rung only when all the groups in the courtyard finished their practices. ‘Okay. Thank you.’ said I, not knowing that it was Wacky Wednesday. Classes after the mid-morning break resumed at 12.25 pm. After a quick assessment of the total number of kids present in both 2A and 2B – since almost half the number in each class were back at practice for the Annual Day programme – we decided to collect the remaining children from both classes in the library, read the story to them and then work on the poster.
Krystal quickly managed to calm the children down enough to answer her question on whether or not they had seen a snowman. All responded that they had; it should be noted that everyone responded that they had seen one on their mobile/ tablet/ tv/ laptop. None of them had seen one in real life, nor in a book and Krystal was very pleased to know that she would be the reason that these kids saw their first printed version of a snowman in this book. Raymond Briggs is one the finest graphic artists with numerous award winning books and to discover a Snowman in print with Raymond Briggs puts the wacky back into Wednesday.
The story was great. There were no unnecessary or unrequested noises in the class – even Krystal read the story sotto voce. A hush settled over all of us as Krystal closed the book – most unusual for any session with Std. 2. But it was Wacky Wednesday.
It took all of us a moment to get back to the present, but time was running out – we had planned to end this session by 1.00 pm, so that we could have a similar session with Std. IV. We distributed star cut-outs and stationery and blank posters and all the kids got busy – colouring stars, sticking them on the ‘sky’ part of the poster, adding other elements of a Christmas scene and soon it was time for session to end.
As Krystal succinctly said, while we were clearing up before leaving the library at the end of our day at Auxilum – we all left with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
It’s looking a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go and a wacky Wednesday is to be expected in ‘tis season.