I had the great honor of being a Big Cheese reader to 6h graders at the Hennigan School in Boston today. It was a great experience. The Big Cheese Reads is a program of Boston Partners in Education. Big Cheeses, like myself, are invited to read to a class of public school students, and share with them what we do. I read the short story, Thank You, Ma’m, by Langston Hughes, and I brought a copy of a book I picked up in Freetown, Sierra Leone called “The Gud Nyus Fuh Olman” and shared with them my experience as a Fulbrighter in West Africa.
One student read the title of the book I shared with them aloud, and remarked, “This sounds like it’s saying, Good News for All Men,” and he was so right on. The book is actually a Krio translation of the Bible’s New Testament. Krio is the language spoken by the people of Freetown. It’s a creole of English and the many African languages spoken by the diverse groups of people living in Freetown. The students asked me a lot of questions about my time in West Africa in general, including how much money I make in my current job as a public servant for the City of Boston. I didn’t give them an exact figure, just told them that I made enough to keep me satisfied.
I hope to serve again as a Big Cheese. This experience was the highlight of my day.