During the hurricanes last September, I wondered about the children. And I worried about the schools and libraries. Had they lost all of their books? I began to ask around and heard the story of the Little People’s Learning Center (LPLC) in St. Thomas (for the inspiring story of its founding see the bottom of this post). Irma, the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the Virgin Islands, tore off almost the entire roof of the main building. Then came the second hurricane. The rains from Maria were torrential. Without a roof, everything left in the building was destroyed.
At the end of a recent book talk at the Concord Bookshop, I asked audience members to buy extra copies of their favorite children’s book for the children of the LPLC. Many people responded. My daughter and I then packaged the donated books and extra copies of my When The Snow Falls and When the Wind Blows book (G.P. Putnam), decorated the box for the little ones and sent them off. (The whole box cost just $14 to ship!).
Yesterday, this note arrived from Joy, the co-founder of the LPLC:
As God would orchestrate, your lovely box of books arrived yesterday, ….whilst St. Thomas has been experiencing blustery weather!
My children and I have talked about this type of weather and discussed the word “ blustery”.
A few of them are still afraid of high winds due to our recent experiences w/ two Cat 5 Hurricanes.
It was a joy and privilege to read, “ When the Wind Blows”, with depictions of kites flying, Grandma and grandson giggling, children playing and grinning!:-)
Both words and illustrations were comforting.
When we initially took a “ picture walk” of the book, one of my three year olds, who sometimes visits the Pre/K-K class, shouted, “Ms. Joy, it’s a blustery day on St. Thomas AND in the story!”:-)
I was DELIGHTED that not only did she remember the word “blustery” but was able to use it in the correct context and relate it to your book!:-)
LOVE,LOVE, LOVE, teaching!:-)
Looking forward to when I can give you a hug!:-)
Grateful and blessed,
Little People’s Learning Center
TO SUPPORT THE LPLC AS IT REBUILDS ITS LEARNING CENTER, please click here.
A BIT MORE HISTORY ON LPLC:
I thought it important to give a “brief” history and mission of Little People’s Learning Center. Our Mother, Daphne Maynard, first taught high school, Latin and French, at Good Hope, (now Good Hope/Country Day school), on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.
When we relocated to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Mom received her certification to teach Early Childhood. She began teaching Kindergarten and enjoyed it thoroughly!
After our return to the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, both Mom and I taught in the Early Learning Center at Antilles school….sister school to Good Hope:-)
Whilst teaching at Antilles, we noticed that in order for families to receive quality Early Childhood education, one had to pay an exorbitant amount of money!
Families, unable to shoulder these hefty fees, were left at the mercy of schools where classroom environments were either substandard or too academically overstimulating… causing children to feel “burnt out” by the time they entered 1st grade!
Mom felt compelled to provide the opportunity for ALL children to have access to quality Early Childhood education.
God opened that door for us, in what was once one building, now expanded to three:-)
For 30+ years, we have been able to provide quality Early Childhood education to our children, ages 2 years – 6 years. We have regular classes during the academic school year as well as Summer camp programs.
-Many of our former students are now bringing THEIR children!
-Learning through Play, Spanish, Music, I play flute and piano, as well as academics, which challenge but do NOT overwhelm, are part of our curriculum.
- We serve Special needs families, local families, as well as those who relocate from all corners of the world.
- Our mission is to teach the love of learning.
- Our commitment is to provide quality Early Childhood education.
On behalf of our “little people”, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your helping hands during this very difficult time.
Peace be with you,