Gray Lady RidersŪ
Why "half the pencil"?
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Why "half the pencil"? When the founder was in Jamaica on vacation, she had found out how desperately poor the people of Jamaica were. As a country that has to import virtually everything other than food, everything was expensive. Prior to going there, she did a great deal of research and found out how school supplies were highly valued. She got in touch with people there at the hotel and arranged to provide enough supplies to a class of 20 children. However, upon arriving, she discovered that while there were 20 children in the class, it was a one-room school house of 50 children between the ages of 3 and 6. When she realized that she was going to be leaving many of the children out, she began to cry. One of the staff said "Lady, please don't cry. When I was a child in school, if I had a pencil and my classmate did not, we would cut our pencil in half so that each would have one. We are grateful for whatever we get. That is the way of the Jamaicans."
You could not imagine her joy when she discovered that she had brought enough pencils to give to each child in the class! Since then, our goal has been to find the child or children, wherever they are, that will have the same philosophy.