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WEDNESDAY WOMAN: Fully committed to youth, teaching


by ANESTA HENRY

WEDNESDAY WOMAN: Fully committed to youth, teaching

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Once she can reach one person a day and successfully sow a seed in that person’s life, she can enjoy a comfortable rest at night. Her philosophy is: With God at the centre of your life, all things are possible and achievable.  Today’s Wednesday Woman believes in pastoral care for young people, and is involved in a number of church and community-oriented activities because “the young generation just needs leadership and help”.Astrid Alleyne would dedicate her time and energy towards “anything that would benefit the youth of this nation”.Alleyne, 34, is a Sunday School teacher, preacher and dance instructor at Bethel Methodist Church on Bay Street, the City, where she seeks to spread the Word of God through dance ministry.“I believe in letting them know that God is there for them wherever they go and that they must have a relationship with him. I love to assist young people, especially through dance. I believe that I can reach them through dance. It is not a popular medium, but it is a medium that most of them can relate to,” she explained.“I realise that young people tend to tune out when the pastor is preaching, but once it is dance or drama they are interested,” said the wife and mother of two.Alleyne, who has been teaching for ten years, is currently working at Grantley Adams Memorial School where she was awarded the title Teacher of the Year in 2001. She was also a finalist for the first ever national Teacher of the Year Award in 2003, and is actively involved in  the school’s Inter-School Christian Fellowship group.She takes pride in spending time, with the youth. “You should be able to help children in whatever way you can. If a child comes to you and say ‘I don’t have lunch money’, there is nothing wrong with buying lunch for them.“I am not one of those teachers that would cry down students, because at the end of the day, I was a student too. I believe that knowledge is power so I don’t only teach my students the syllabus, I . . . go out of my way to make sure they understand,” she added.Alleyne, who is currently in the process of completing her Master’s in Education at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, said she would “never go as far as to say all the youth out there are lost or bad”.“I know for sure that where I teach, there are some very good and positive youth. Right now on staff, we have past head boys and girls that work very hard with our children.“We encourage the students to take their education seriously, because knowledge is power. I tell my students all the time that it does not matter where you go to school. Right now, when you sit at university you don’t know if you are sitting beside someone who went to St George, Alma Parris or Harrison College. “The degree is there for all of us to get . . . and then give it back to the community,” said the former Christ Church Foundation student.If it were possible, Alleyne said, she would “gather up all the young people who hang out on the blocks across the island and bring them into the church, where they would learn the arts. But we have to face the fact that if someone is hungry, we have to feed them, before we preach to them”.“We need to talk to the young people and not talk at them. Sometimes it’s just a conversation these children need,” Alleyne pointed out.

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