14-y-o hero teacher
Converts old bar into classroom to tutor community kids
With penmanship that rivals the calligraphy of his teachers, a 14-year-old student of Ferncourt High School has become a hero of sorts in Queenhythe, St Ann, where he has taken on full-time tutoring of community children while attending online...
With penmanship that rivals the calligraphy of his teachers, a 14-year-old student of Ferncourt High School has become a hero of sorts in Queenhythe, St Ann, where he has taken on full-time tutoring of community children while attending online classes.
In March, Kelvin, with the assistance of his dad, Kevin, converted an old bar at the front of their premises into a classroom, from which he now teaches children of Queenhythe, near Discovery Bay, who are out of school and are unable to access learning online.
Daily, the children trek to their new, temporary school with a young teacher who somehow manages to balance his own online classes as an eighth-grader with the schedule he has implemented for the students.
“First, I address them, have devotion, give them work, and when they’re doing their work, I start mine. Then I give them break as soon as I get break, then come back in, give them work, do mine, over and over,” Kelvin told The Gleaner.
Children in masks, numbering around eight or nine at a time, are taken through their routine, which includes mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies.
“I’m teaching them mathematics - tens and ones, even and odd numbers, fractions, and multiplying numbers; language arts - capitalising, words, sentences; social studies - national heroes and solar system; science - parts of a plant, carnivores and omnivores,” Kelvin explained in an exhibition of well-rounded knowledge of the subject areas.
Spurred by his godfather, Kelvin took in hand the children of Queenhythe who are among the 120,000 students still off the radar of the education sector since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered school plants more than 14 months ago.
Kelvin’s passion to assist the youngsters in his community didn’t come as a surprise to his dad, who made it known that he was absolutely proud of his boy.
“Mi get call from all ‘bout, ‘bout dis, suh mi know something good a come out a him. Money naw guh dung the drain, money naw guh dung di drain,” the father said.
“Kelvin always tell himself say him bright,” Kevin said, eliciting a chuckle from his son.
The initiative, which also made his stepmother, Shauna-Gaye Blake-Peart, delighted, is intriguing, because although Kelvin has offered his service freely to the children aged four to nine, he has no intention of becoming a teacher.
His heart is set on becoming a paediatrician.
Kelvin’s actions have endeared him to others in Queenhythe.
Latoya Grant, mother of four-year-old Latonya Campbell, one of Kelvin’s students, is happy for the stand-in teacher’s benevolence.
“Since I started working back in November, I don’t have the time to keep up with her schoolwork, so it’s a great relief for me to have the assistance to get her doing her classes just the same, and keeping up with her education level,” Grant said.
Meanwhile, in acknowledging May as Child Month, Kevin said he was happy with his son’s development.
“Yuh know seh mi treat him same like how mi treat miself,” the senior Peart said.
“The phone wha mi have, a di same phone him have, mi nuh separate nutten between mi an’ him.”’