Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Achievement for ALL

By Patrice Trim

"We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community ... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. " - Cesar Chavez

I used to teach in public school. I had a wonderful experience. But I wanted more. I now teach in a private school. I have forgotten...

...Forgotten that some children in the public system in Trinidad and Tobago aren't benefiting from it. While many are flourishing and doing great things, some are not.

I have forgotten...

Some have basic reading and writing skills. Some can comprehend and phonetically sound out and spell some words. Some can read and write their own names and nothing else. Some unfortunately cannot recognize their own name unless you point it out to them.

I have forgotten...

Some have great coping skills. Talking to them you'd never know. Some don't cope as well. As soon as you have a conversation with them, if you're listening closely, you can tell. But some people don't listen closely. They ignore. They forget.

But now I remember...

The children who are participating in the Necessary Arts - Reach the Unreachable program in Maloney helped me to remember. I see children who are excelling. I see children who are coping. I see children who need more than they're being offered.

I remember...

...remember that the education system in Trinidad and Tobago is failing some of the children who pass through it. Some. Not all. But some is too many in the long run. I'm not sure why. I have theories. Some have theories. Theories aren't helping the children.

I remember...

What we need are solutions. Systems and people and resources that support and educate not just sort, promote and ignore. As cliche as it sounds the children are our future. If we don't help the children, we are failing the next generation. Someone needs to do something and soon.

I have an idea...

Our situation is not unique. It's a problem that exists around the world. There's no easy solution but I feel happy to know that I'm part of an organization that's making strides to creatively start to solve some of the education problems and empower some children.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

As an organization Necessary Arts has educated and empowered some children. We have taught them basic and advanced literacy skills of reading, writing and comprehension. We have taught them basic and advanced acting techniques. We have taught them basic filming and editing skills.  So what now?

The pieces come together...

I am excited for next weekend. The kids will be filming and editing their bio poems and their interpretations of the Declaration of Human Rights. They will utilize all of the skills and techniques they have learned to make something amazing.

I can feel it already...

They have worked hard as individuals and as a collective. They have reminded me of what needs to be done for some but they also remind me of what has been done for many. We  as an organization are contributing to the change we want to see. Small steps, but every drop in the bucket helps right?

Next Saturday, we start at nine and as Trinis say "We eh stopping till we done!"

Stay tuned!


  1. So insightful. So inspiring. You've made a significant difference and I stand in support of all that you do.

  2. I can't believe it's almost over. Really great experience

    1. Thank for being instrumental in making it happen.