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Libraries in Schools
When I went back to school in 2015 with a crocodile
March 1, 2015
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Written by Liza

It was wonderful to spend time with my family when they were all visiting Goa, discovering some beaches I hadn’t yet ventured to, and walking streets I hadn’t explored earlier.

I didn’t realize how much I missed the feeling of doing something useful till I returned to Bookworm after my holiday, to get back to the schedule of reading in schools. My encounter with a new school- the St Thomas Boys Higher Secondary School (STBHS) in Aldona yesterday was a really interesting one that I want to share.

It felt great to be driving the old red van again, and I didn’t complain about the absence of power steering. I guess I’ve got used to it by now. The story to be read to the children was Crazy Charlie, written by Ruth Brown, and I went armed with Bookworm’s large crocodile puppet. There were hushed whispers and awed looks as Margaret my colleague in the classroom and I walked through the corridors to reach the teacher’s room. Some of the classes had tests going on, and as we walked up to class I caught a glimpse of a boy from class 7 who had been furiously writing his exam paper, and happened to look up and see us with the croc in hand walking by. His jaw dropped visibly. We exchanged quick smiles and we walked on to the class. Crazy Library teachers with Crazy Charlie!

This story is about a crocodile who is famous for eating up everything, including factories, bicycles and missiles. Poor Charlie then loses his teeth, and the story ends happily when a tourist who sees Charlie gifts him a brand new set of teeth. The story was a big hit with the children.

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Class 5A was absolutely thrilled with the puppet and they all wanted to touch and feel him. How could I deny them that? So everyone came up to the front and examined Charlie the crocodile, with glee written all over their happy little faces. One of the boys in 5B even put his head inside Charlie’s mouth, pretending he was being eaten up!

As I waited in the school teacher’s room for the van to pick me up after class, I’d left Charlie on a windowsill in the room- as I read a book. An unsuspecting Priest who was walking down the corridor was suddenly very startled and almost jumped when his eye caught the sight of Charlie draped along the windowsill, with his dangling tail. It took him a full second before he realized it was only a stuffed toy.

I suspect I may be known as the crocodile teacher as Charlie had created such a stir in the school today!

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