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Cray Crays Blog
06 Feb 2017

   On February 1st The Cray Crays visited our second school in Brooklyn, NY 'The Learning Experience.' That's exactly what it was for me. As usual, I was very excited to see the children to share my story, I had four classes to visit. On my way to the first class I briefly told the teacher, that escorted me in, that I wanted to test the children out by having them play some of the instruments that I brought with me. When I entered the room I was introduced and their eyes were filled with curiosity and they welcomed me with patience. I told them that I had instruments and I wanted them to play as I read my book. They were interested, as I presented it as a game. I told them to follow me as I play a rhythm and they did! "When I say freeze! all of you must freeze until I tell you to play again." It was entertaining for everyone, especially for me since I've never tried this before. At first I was concerned if it would be pure noise followed by arguments over who wanted a different instrument, but none of that happened. Even though they lost the rhythm and I tried to follow what they were playing, as I read I wasn't concerned anymore and let it flow. From time to time I would pause and ask questions about colors. The children would raise their hands to answer, but after a while I think one child in particular simply enjoyed being called so he could speak because he would name anything. Such as "a fox is pink." I told him that sounds like an interesting story I should write about. At the end, I collected the instruments and told them I had a surprise for them. They were to close their eyes and open it when I put the surprise in their hand. They were so excited! They received scented pencils.It pleased them and they went around the room telling each other which scent they had. One of the scents was cotton candy and it had a picture of a little character smiling. A little girl asked me "Can I give it a name?" I said sure, why not? I was happy that I made them happy, and already one of them was using their imagination. My job was done and I was off to the next class.

   With the next group I didn't bother with the instruments plus they were a bit younger, maybe three years old or so. Very cute class and ready to hear why I was visiting them. At one point I stopped reading and closed the booked asking them to guess which color they think is next. It was fun for them and it kept their attention as well. When we reached the color green I was surprised that some of them liked eating their vegetables, like string beans because that was in the story. I even told them that I never liked string beans and still don't! But glad that they are eating it. They received their scented pencils and as I watched some of them peel off The Cray Crays label that I spent all night putting on, seeing them appreciate the gift so much made me quickly forget. They thanked me and I was off to the third class.

   This classroom had some little comedians in there. A few were curious as to why I had board cut outs of two of the characters. Braxton Brown and Whitney White. I said so the characters could come to life for you. At one point they began talking too much as I was reading and I said "Don't you want to know why Whitney cried? I'll end up leaving and you won't know what happened, then you'll go home wondering and you'll have to google it but won't get the answer." Then they listened. Later to my surprise some of the teachers were chatting too much then one little girl said "Okay, okay it's time to get quiet everyone it's too loud." A little boy said "Yes, okay let's get back to the story I want to know what happens." It's as if the suspense was killing them I couldn't help but to laugh. When I finished I told them "Guess what?!! I have a surprise for you!" Their eyes lit up! One boy said "I love getting gifts!" They loved the pencils, one of their teachers wanted one too, another one told them they should say thank you, to me. They did more than that. I was given hugs and one little boy told me he's going to tell his mom about the story and everyone! I left feeling humble and pleased I was a part of their happiness and its a great feeling.

   Walking downstairs to see the fourth group made me feel like an entertainer. I told the teacher "If I could I get paid to do this full-time I would do it." The best was really saved for last. They were under two years old and barely speaking full sentences but would you believe they sat quietly the entire time and I held their attention? One baby answered me in his gibberish but I'm certain if I understood it was a real answer. When I finished the book and asked them what else they would do today in class with their teachers, a boy answered me and I eventually received his life story and was merging into his family personal business. Children can be hilarious without even trying. Since they were too young for pencils and I didn't have my own stickers,I was given a sheet of stickers by a teacher, to give to them. They lined up and I asked one by one which sticker they wanted. What touched my heart the most was the moment they all gathered to give me a hug. How many people had a small group of babies swarming them for hugs? It is the best feeling to receive such a small genuine gesture of love. They came back for seconds, and one little girl elbowed her way through her peers just to get to me. My heart was filled with love I almost could've cried tears of joy because my story brought me there to show them how important every crayon was in the story. The same way every person here on earth is important. I arrived with the intent to touch their lives and each of those children touched my life right back. That school was definitely a learning experience. I learned that I have to continue with this because there are little children waiting on me to do what I was called to do.

01 Feb 2017

It has been a few years since The Cray Crays participated in any activities. The reason being, was preparing for right now! January started off on the right track as we visited A to Z daycare center in Brooklyn, NY on the 27th. It was a great turn out and the children enjoyed the story. It tickles me whenever I interact with them, asking questions related to the story and the responses they give me are so unpredictable, yet so authentic. For example at the end of the story they discover why Whitney White was sad. When I asked them if they will start using the white crayon from now on when they color, some of them still said no. I couldn't help but to laugh because at the same time they were just being honest. How many of us ignored the white crayon growing up? I know I did. Overall I was pleased with the feedback from the children and teachers. The Cray Crays are back and ready to promote literacy! I hope you'll join us on this amazing journey.

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About Author

 Adama Wiggan is a Miami resident with a Jamaican back ground. This writer, poet, and model came up with the concept for The Cray Crays after browsing a book store and noticed most books that taught colors were pretty basic. With her love for children and words, she wanted to create a story where kids could identify with the characters and enjoy the rhythmic flow. “I grew up reading Dr. Seuss, now I want children to grow up reading Aunty Dama books.” Adama has embraced her gift and will continue to spark the interest of children while making reading fun. 

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