Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Radio Station

After taking my P5 class to the wood shop I asked them where else they wanted to go and they all explained to me that they wanted to go to the radio station. Since these students are blind the radio means a lot to them. I told them I would see what I can do.

Now being new to the area I had not idea if there was a station around, how to get there if there was, if this was allow (to take them to another organization), how to get in contact with the radio station, or really what the next step should be. I was talking to another teacher (blind) and she said there is a location station that is not far from the school. Another teacher, Lordy, said she would take me there on her moto (motorcycle). Great!

I went there to ask them what we had to do in order for a class to come and see what goes on at the radio. She said we had to write a letter to the manager. I came back and asked permission from the headmaster to make sure this was allowed, it was!

Well I was not the one that wanted to go to the station so I told the class that if they wanted to go they must write a letter to the station asking permission to come and see what they do. They wrote it in Braille, I wrote it in print, we brought it to the typist to get it typed and had Headmaster sign it. Ok now we have to deliver it. I road my bike on Monday morning and dropped it off.

Friday morning the P5 homeroom teacher got a call from Radio Progress saying they wanted the class to come and talk. We would get 20 minutes on the air. Wow! That was unexpected. They were so excited! This would be the first time a student from Wa School for the Blind would be on the radio. Everyone on campus new within 15 minutes, that P5 was asked to be on the radio.

We were scheduled to come Monday morning; that only gives us 2 ½ days to prepare. They wanted to practice a lot because they wanted to be a good example for the school.

Friday afternoon the students decided on an agenda for the program and picked parts; everyone in the class had a role to play. 7pm they memorized a poem to recite written by their homeroom teacher, Sr. Michael, called ‘Look at Me, Look at You’ (what the sighted can do we can do also). The students knew their parts and thought about what they wanted to say. Saturday morning 9am we came together and wrote down exactly what they were going to say. And we practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced.

Now Iddrisu wanted to read a story. He loved a story from the Fable book I was able to buy with the money raised. The story was ‘The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs’. Many people were nervous about him reading because even though he is a good student, reading is not his strong area (that’s ok, it’s not mine either). The teachers wanted him to memorize the short story but I said ‘No’, the students here do not just memorize at the school they learn to read and we are going to tell everyone in Upper Ghana. Granted by the time Iddrisu and I were done practicing we both had it memorized, I told him to still read it from the paper not from his memory.

Sunday at 3pm the students asked if Sr. Michael and I could come to help them practice. So for a few hours Sunday afternoon we practiced some more. They were doing very well. One of the managers from Radio Progress came to listen to us rehearse and was very impressed with our efforts.

Alright here is the big day. One last run through and we load up into a pick up trust and we are off to Radio Progress. We sat in a room and waited for the manager to come and let us to know we should do. The room was silent but looking around I saw everyone’s fingers moving over paper and mouths mouthing words. (practicing) Oh man you can feel the excitement but tension in the air.

They called us in the studio and taught the students proper radio educate and how to use the equipment. Ok one minute to show time, deep breath and Welcome to Radio Progress, today we have very special guests with us from Wa School for the Blind…

It was AWESOME! They did so well. They spoke clearly and confidently and with passion yet conviction and proudly and happily. Iddrisu read the story wonderfully and they were all very happy with themselves.

All to the school they sang: we are students of P5 at Wa School for the Blind and we were on the radio… Wish I got that on recording.

Everyone at the school was listening to us and were all so excited to hear their classmates, friends, and students on the radio. Now the headmaster does not show emotion but he was so pleased he gave me a little grin. He smiled at me :) P5 was the talk of the school.

We had a little debriefing session and talked about what happened but first they wanted to ask me a question. They asked: did you pay money for us to do that? :) You know: I told them: I did not pay a single coin, you all wanted to go, you all wrote the letter, got the permission and was invited to speak, you wrote the agenda and scripts and you all spoke very well and everyone is pleased with you. I was just here to supervise because Headmaster would not allow you to leave with out a teacher, so I just came to take pictures… That meant a lot to them; they were now very proud of themselves because they did it by themselves.

Students decided the theme of the program to be: Disability is not Inability!

Wow! I know where they are coming from and encourage them to keep up the good work!

Sorry this post is so long- it was just so exciting!
Oh and thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. I had a great Birthday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Radio Stars!

My students wanted to go visit the Radio Station and much to their surprise got so much more! They go to be on the air LIVE!

More of the story to come...