While schools are closed, WTJX has been providing Virgin Islands history and cultural programming for the territory’s students, to include its Rediscover Series, Governor Series and VI Film Series. In November 2019, the Virgin Islands Public Broadcasting System premiered “Sarah & Addie,” a collection of skits that were written by Anton Teytaud. The skits were directed by Valrica Bryson, Ph.D., director of cultural education for the Virgin Islands Department of Education.
Not only did Bryson, who was recently honored by the 33rd Legislature for her impact on music education, direct the skits with WTJX’s technical support, she also authored a teacher’s guide and student workbook.
“When I realized that Valrica was also building classroom tools to accompany the ‘Sarah & Addie’ skits, I knew right away that these tools should have a home on WTJX’s website,” said Tanya-Marie Singh, WTJX’s CEO.
The webpage, located at www.wtjx.org/sarahaddie, contains the full compilation of skits as well as the individual titles: “Addie & Sarah Meet the Tourist,” “Of Divorce and Other Matters,” “Getting Married Is Risky Business,” “Muu Muu’s & Politics” and “Travelers Return.” The common core and cultural standards are outlined on the site; there is an 89-page Teacher’s Guide, a 57-page Student Workbook, as well as information on the playwright Anton Teytaud.
“The significance of the ‘Sarah & Addie’ plays to Virgin Islands arts and culture is unmistakable,” said Racquel Berry-Benjamin, commissioner of the V.I. Department of Education. “In a time where online learning has become the norm, the launching of this site, which offers a host of educational materials for teachers and students, couldn’t be more appropriate.”
“Any educational program has to find a way to assess its effectiveness. It is important that our students learn that culture has no boundaries. Success for our students today has demanded that they understand their roles in our global society in making an impact on individuals and the community through culture. Cultural education is a great necessity as part of their development and the development of our community. ‘Sarah & Addie’ exemplifies this in all facets. I thank WTJX for opening this very important portal for our community and, more importantly, for the children of the Virgin Islands,” said Bryson.
“We hope that teachers use this as an opportunity to incorporate ‘Sarah & Addie’ into their distance learning regimen,” said WTJX’s Singh. “Knowing our history and culture is just as necessary to us as a people as mastering academics.”