Dear Friends, Family and Followers of the Champions program,
Don’t worry bout a thing, cause everything will be alright.
The lyrics to this song have followed me everywhere on this island. I’ve heard it while dancing in the rain, on the radio on my early mornings, and even in my CCRs that I’ve had with my students. It has been a constant reminder for me, while being here in Antigua, to let go. For someone who worries a lot and needs to know what we’re doing and when, this experience has really forced me to embrace the moment. The good and the bad.
I first heard about the Champions for Health Program many years ago, but was never able to fully commit to it back then. When I graduated from UFV, I was honestly heartbroken to have never taken advantage of this opportunity. However, low and behold, last fall I returned to UFV to complete some required courses and I finally had my chance!
When I was first told I was going to be placed at T.N. Kirnon I had no idea what I should expect. However, once I walked onto school grounds I received so many hugs and greetings from students before they even knew my name. I knew after twenty minutes that this would be my school and that it would run through my veins. Or maybe it was the complete wipeout I made while playing Marco Polo that did me in.
We’re in our third week of classes and I can’t believe the time has flown by this quickly. There has been so many incredible learning moments I have experienced around the island and at our schools that it feels like it’s been more than two weeks, but at the same time it feels like we just arrived here yesterday. Today, my teaching partner Justin and I had the chance to walk to Victory Centre and help with the painting of their outdoor therapy playground. It was such a beautiful design that Kaylin, Kenton, and Dr. Singh created for the area and I’m so happy that I was able to partake in it. After a tough day at school, being able to have a couple of hours to enjoy my own type of therapy was much needed. Each day brings its own challenges that at the beginning seemed daunting to face, but I’ve been so grateful for the numerous teaching partners (Justin, Kirsten, Julia & Cole) that have helped to guide me along the way.
Thank-you so much Dr. Sheppard for the fourteen years that you’ve dedicated to this program and allowing me to be a part of it. You have allowed me to fulfill this dream of mine that I’ve had since starting at UFV back in 2010 and I’m so grateful.
TN Kirnon Primary