Stella, who is almost 10 years old, and I have just returned from Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica, where we were invited to experience the resort. This resort is all about providing a full family experience, so I am sharing Stella’s journal — spelling mistakes and all — with you so that you can get an older child’s perspective, not just an adult’s.
On Day 3, we had a really special experience because we left the resort and had a visit to a local school. The school is one of a number that has been ‘adopted’ by the Sandals Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International. Sandals Resorts International was founded by a Jamaican man by the name of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, and the Stewart family continues to run and oversee both the resorts and the Foundation. It’s an impressive non-profit since 100% of proceeds donated to the Foundation go directly to projects in the community.
By Day 3, however, Stella’s initial enthusiasm for journalling was already waning. This just goes to show you that writing is work (contrary to popular opinion). I explained that she could use a technique like “Top 10” to spark her ideas along and she decided to go for it. While her descriptions below are quite sparse, I can tell you that she was green with envy that the Jamaican school had so many great painted murals — she just loves murals!
10 Ways My School is Different from a Local Jamacin School
By Stella, 9 years old
1. My school is big. The Jamacin school was small.
2. My school has metal desks. The Jamacin school had wooden two-person desks.
3. My school has 1 mural. The Jamacin school is covered in murals.
4. The kids don’t wear uniforms at my school. The kids wear uniforms at the Jamacin school.
5. At my school there is a mixture of black and white people. I didn’t see any white people at the Jamacin school.
6. At my school there is more than one chalkboard. At the Jamacin school there is only one chalkboard in the classroom.
7. At my school each class has more than one teacher. In the Jamacin school each class has 1 teacher.
8. My school goes up to grade six. The Jamacin school goes to grade 5.
9. My school has a gym. The Jamacin school doesn’t.
10. My school has glass windows. The Jamacin school has slits in the walls instead of windows.