Franca and Dario from the 101 social club in Cliftonville visited school today to work with York class during their Art lesson, creating lanterns with the children. It was lovely to receive this message from Franca this evening: -
Dario and I held a paper lantern making workshop this morning at Drapers Mills School beautifully coordinated by Gemma Comber. Gosh, the sweetness of those kids... I had to swallow my emotions for the entire time, put on a smile and refrain from hugging each one of them. One was worried that his lantern may not be as beautiful as the others', one just sat quietly and made one that was huge and different, one studied the most efficient system to manufacture more lanterns in the future, one made a mess with the glue but made others laugh, one wanted me to teach her Italian instead, one cried because of how frustrating it felt to stick the paper on the balloon without sticking it onto his fingers and then suddenly felt better and went back to it, one said he has a new pencil case and hugged me, a few joined forces and worked in team. Some lanterns were precise, some funky, some elegant, some sturdy, some delicate, some creative, some crazy, some small, some huge. They'll all shed their light in fantastic ways. This reminded me - not just in my mind but in my flesh and bones - of what it's like to be a child and to try to learn everything and to fit in and to make sense of so many things which can be very hard to process and to control, and that these children - as cheesy as this may sound - literally are the future of this community, so let's all focus on children first, that's it.