On Wednesday 15 November we welcomed Frederick Lipp and his wife Kitty to the Junior School. Fred is the American author of the picture book Running Shoes and is on promotional tour of Britain. He came to Watson's to talk to our Primary 5 pupils about Running Shoes. The book is about a Cambodian girl called Sophy whose greatest wish is to be able to go to school. One day the number man comes to her village and presents her with a pair of running shoes. These shoes allow her to run 8 kilometres to the nearest one-roomed school house. Here Sophy learns to read and write. A pair of running shoes have changed her life!
Fred gave a very lively presentation to the children using props such as: a mirror, a top hat that collapsed, an old desk, a chair and a blackboard. He told the children that, in Cambodia, chalk is a precious tool for the children, as they do not have pens and paper. He told them that, when the children are asked to write on the blackboard in school, they write in tiny writing so that they do not waste too much chalk! It made us all sit up and think!
In addition to being a writer, Fred runs a non-profit making organisation which sets out to help and educate young children in Cambodia. Girls are particularly ill-served by the education system and this what inspired Fred to write his book. He talked to the children about some his experiences in Cambodia and showed them a slideshow of the real Sophy, and of her village.
We enjoyed Fred's visit enormously.