Sat | Mar 24, 2018

A puppy for Christmas - 9-y-o student pushes herself, gets dream pup

Published:Wednesday | December 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Jada Duckie and her teacher Lisa Shirley.
Jada holds her prized pup while she is surrounded by her friends.

BUCKNOR, Clarendon:

Most nine-year-olds want the latest in technology or toys for a Christmas present, but for Jada Duckie, only one thing would do - a poodle.

If her parents wanted to get the best out of her, all they had to do was promise that they would be building a doghouse and her face would light up like a Christmas tree.

Last year, as a class exercise, students at her school, May Pen Primary, wrote about their wish for Christmas. Jada's wish was for a puppy.

The letter was sent to the James and Friends Foundation and the youngster was issued with a challenge.

"I took it for a joke and told her to keep up her average and she would receive her heart's desire," said Otis James, founder of the foundation.

Little did he know that maintaining top grades was Jada's speciality, as she has been topping her class from she was a student at Effortville Basic School, continuing the trend at May Pen Primary.




With Jada remaining at the top of her class this year, the foundation made good on its promise and presented her with a poodle.

The youngster shared with The Gleaner why she wanted the pup so badly.

"I just wanted a puppy to care for and love. It seems like a lot of fun whenever I watch the children on television playing with their dogs," she said.

With her eyes set on being a medical doctor, Jada already possess a bubbly personality, writes and speaks well and is the joy of her community in Bucknor, Clarendon. She enjoys reading and music in her spare time.

Her father George Duckie, an army man, and mother Maureen have resigned themselves to the task of helping her to ensure the poodle receives the best of care.

"We offered her a bicycle. We promised her whatever toys she wanted, but all those were flatly refused," her mother said with a smile of acceptance of her daughter's wish.

Jada's teacher Lisa Shirley said she maintains a 96 per cent average, is a peer counsellor, class monitor, honours student, and that she has continued to perform exceptionally well in grade four.

"Not that Jada needed any special motivation to work hard, but the message we wanted to send is that hard work is always rewarded."

James re-emphasised Shirley's sentiments as he said the foundation employs different avenues in motivating students, and one of them is setting goals and giving rewards when they are achieved.