Posted by: universallearningcentreblog | January 22, 2011

A New Day by Dana M. Jean

First Day

A New Day

This school year, the students of Pilate were more excited than usual to start the year.  As is traditional, the various schools gathered together  for mass at the local Catholic Church (pictured here) before beginning the first day of the school year.  The year would begin a little differently this time around as the ULC team would join the priest in addressing the children.  Children sat quietly and attentively in mass and listen anxiously to the unique message of inspiration.

School Children

Eager to Start School

Across the board, the message from the church and ULC volunteers was the same:  the importance of education and personal responsibility to seek education.  ULC volunteers  spoke about the value of hard work, and what the new library would be able to provide them.  Jacques had a unique perspective to bring to these school children.  A group of boys were wearing the same uniform he wore as a child, attending the same school he did.  He spoke to them about how he went from being a school child wearing a crisply pressed uniform to being a successful businessman who is now able to come back and help his community.  He talked to them about the need to remember their roots and educate themselves not just for their own benefit but in order to provide for their community.

School Boys

Jacques' Primary School Alma Mater

In addition to the discussion on education and giving back to your community, Jacques spoke to the children about the library and what it offers them.  He gave them clear expectations about how they are to respect the books by not folding page corners, not writing in them, not damaging or mistreating them in any way.  Taking it one step further, however, he also spoke to them about what books can do for them: give them a wider perspective of the world, taking them to places far beyond the borders of their town, province or country.  Exactly what books did for Jacques.  


Mass on the First Day of School


The first day of school this year was exceptional in Pilate.  This year, students looked forward to more than just new classes, new teachers, new friends.  This year, students looked forward to new books and a new facility.  For the first time, students have access to a full library of resources including 25,000+ books, computers with Internet, and a staff who are able to help them do research.  This year, students began not just a new year but a New Day, a day of hope for the future.


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