John’s Folly Learning Institute Students Share Joys of the Holiday at Annual Christmas Program

JFLI student sing to their parents and community member during the program. St. John Tradewinds News Photo by Jaime Elliott

John’s Folly Learning Institute students sang island-themed holiday songs to the delight of the crowd during their anniual Christmas program on Friday evening, December 14, at the institute on the island’s south end.

The students performed their own rendition of the “12 Days of Chrstimas,” with island-inspired gifts like guavaberries and coconuts, and “a big, big mango tree,” replacing dancers dancing, milking maids and pear trees.

The crowd roared with laughter as the students each stood and wished all a happy holiday. Mistress of ceremonies Natile Dalmida showed poise and maturity as she introduced each part of the program.  

“The students wanted to run the entire program from start to finish,” said JFLI executive director Alvis Christian, who gave Dalmida a few pointers on the art of hosting duties.

After Idaliah Schemica read the invocation, Afrika Anthony welcomed the guests and attendees settled in to enjoy an evening of music and merriment.

Henry Powell, on flute, and Toni Schemica, on horn, performed “Holy Night” and “Joy to the World.” Members of the Calvary Baptist Choir sang “Jesus is the Light of the World,” and “Joy to the World.”

The JFLI students themselves sang rousing renditions of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Ho, Ho, Ho,” “Holy Night,” “Joy to the World,” and the popular “12 Days of Christmas.”

The Emmaus Moravian Youth Adventurers sang a benediction and the children were ready to receive their donated gifts.

Joe Palminteri and Lori Dudkin handed out gifts to each child and no one went home empty-handed.

While letting the students run the evening, Christian did take the opportunity to thank supporters and volunteers.

“There are so many people who contribute to the institute, I could be up here all night,” said the JFLI director.

No one ever leaves JFLI hungry and the Christmas program was no exception. Volunteers prepared a lavish spread of food which was enjoyed by everyone.