Target Who Books Donated to Schools: 9673
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Donating 11,000 Books to School Libraries to support Children's Literacy

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Revelation of the Dalek

We are Target Who and once again the universe has conspired to allow us to create magic.

It all started way back at the beginning of May when I became the first member of the group to face the press to gain us publicity.  Our story appeared in the GloucesterCitizen and 12 days later they printed another story featuring two more charitable Doctor Who fans, Dave and Chris Morgan.  I completely missed this in my local paper, but our man across the pond in Chicago spotted it on the internet and sent me a link to the story! I contacted Dave, who quickly agreed to support our cause.  All we needed now was an amenable school that would allow us to sneak a Dalek into an assembly!

Dave Morgan, Dexter and David Dovey

Enter teacher Julia Thom of St Mark’s Church of England Junior School.  With her help we hatched plans to surprise the children during a 10 O’clock school assembly.  The school was surveyed to assess possible problems, a date was set and the local press was contacted.  This nearly scuppered the surprise!  The Press Photographer couldn’t arrive after the assembly.  He could only make it for 9.45 a.m.  Now we needed to not only sneak a Dalek into the school unseen, but we had to take publicity photos with children before the assembly and then stop them telling the other children! It was going to take a master plan to keep the surprise a secret…

We arrived early and patiently waited for all the children to make their way to their classrooms at the start of the school day.  Once they were all safely inside, Dexter was able to glide his way into the school foyer, where we placed a large tarpaulin over him - just in case!  The teachers had all been briefed to keep the children in their classrooms all morning - of course one of them forgot!  The door to the reception suddenly opened and a small child came in clutching a letter!  Dave and I leaped across the room forming a wall in front of Dexter while a member of the school staff intercepted the child and sent her on her way.  Phew!  We got away with it.  She hadn’t seen our inhabitant of Skaro lurking under the tarpaulin!

The Press Photographer arrived and six children were summoned to the foyer to meet Dexter.  The look on their faces was amazing, a combination of disbelief and excitement, as they attempted to look cool and casual while grins spread across their faces.  Of course the Press Photographer wanted to take the photos outside in the playground.  So off we went and upstairs in the Year Five Classroom, Miss Thom was frantically pulling down the classroom blinds to prevent the surprise leaking out!  Click here for the press story.

Assembly time and the children all filed into the hall, no doubt wondering why they all had to enter via the rear doors today.  Miss Thom introduced me and I began to address the children.  I’ve been lucky enough to give several assemblies so far, so I quickly fell into my usual script.  I told them of the magic contained in books that could escape into their heads and feed their imagination.  I told them how when I have their age I hated reading and demonstrated with some over the top acting how I discovered my ‘magic book’ and fell in love with reading.  Then I told them I had bought some books for their library and turned to Dexter … who of course wasn’t there.  

“Where’s Dexter?” I asked.  “He’s shy and won’t come in” replied Miss Thom, stood ready by the door.   I asked the children to encourage Dexter to enter by shouting “Good Morning Dexter.”  They would have to shout loudly though, so he could hear them through the door.  They roared a loud greeting and … the door stayed closed.  I told them “Oh dear.  Dexter is still sad and won’t come in.  He heard all the children, but some of the teachers didn’t say Good Morning to him.  I think it was Mr Lee.”  (I had already been told that Mr Lee was a good sport … well, okay, the other teachers had set him up!)  Another loud welcome, this time including teachers, and the door opened and in glided the unmistakable sight of a Black Dalek!

I wish I could have videoed their faces to share with you all.  It was such an amazing moment and I’m sure one the children will never forget.  Some sat opened mouth, unable to believe what had just happened.  Some gasped or squealed in delight. One of two looked a little nervous, suddenly aware that there was no sofa to hide behind in the school hall!  I’m sure I spotted one of the teachers at the back moving closer to the door too!  Then, as the hall quietened down, Dexter spoke!

“Hello teachers.  Do you have any naughty children I can EXTERMINATE?”

The hall was awash with smiling faces as I told Dexter off!  “I told you earlier, you are not allowed to exterminate any children today.  Their Mum’s wouldn’t like it!”
“Oh,” said the crestfallen Dexter, then after a slight pause added 

“Hello children.  Do you have any naughty teachers I can EXTERMINATE?”  

The entire children turned as one and pointed shouting “Mr Lee.”  We discussed the possibility of exterminating poor Mr Lee for a while and then I pointed out that if Dexter exterminated him there would be no one to take his class for the rest of the day.  Mr Lee’s class didn’t think this was a problem and offered to go home early, but one quick thinking boy shot his hand up in the air and pointed out something interesting.  “Mr Sim doesn’t have a class!”  Ah!  The school has a spare teacher! So Mr Sim could take Mr Lee’s for the rest of the day… or maybe we could just exterminate Mr Sim.  There was only one way to solve this.  We had to have a vote.

All of Year Three was in favour the Deputy Headmaster becoming Dexter’s victim.  (That gives Mr Sim three years to plan his revenge!)  The rest of the school wanted Mr Lee to be exterminated.  He grudgingly came forward.  Dexter approached… “Scanning for intelligence” he said, pointing his sucker arm at Mr Lee’s head, then added “No intelligence found!”  The children roared with laughter.  

Mr Lee was duly exterminated and collapsed on to a pile of PE mats, before slowly sliding to the ground.  However, Dexter had forgotten to recharge his power cells last night, so Mr Lee was only stunned.  Phew!  There was just time for a few questions from the children for Dexter and then it was time to go.  Dexter glided out of the hall, leaving the children with some wonderful memories that I’m sure none of them will forget.  

David Dovey, Dexter and Julia Thom

The school were donated 8 books from Target Who and I also gave them 4 more from my personal collection - including a Dalek book.  I hear they are proving very popular amongst the children of St Marks.

We are Target Who. We will do anything to inspire children … apart from exterminate them!

Target Who would like to thanks Dave Morgan and Julia Thom for their help in arranging a truly magical school assembly. 

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