Thursday, December 6, 2012

Capturing the caring of Just for Girls

Just for Girls' third-graders/ Grant Jefferies/
"I can't believe everybody clapped!!!"

That was the quote of my day Wednesday, followed quickly by a close runner-up:

"That's all that matters ... these caring, sharing girls."

That first was a gleeful shoutout by one of the 30 young third-graders who had just finished a trio of holiday songs to lift our spirits -- as if we needed anything more uplifting after the positive report given on the new charter school, Just for Girls Academy. The academy was the focus of this year's annual luncheon with Just for Girls' donors and volunteers in Manatee County,as seen here in Herald photographer Grant Jefferies' gallery.

The girls had just finished singing the last song -- "A Song of Peace" -- with magical untarnished belief, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
And when we sang
My magic song
All hate and war would cease
If I could write a magic song
I'd write a song of peace
 Not only did everyone clap, but they were on their feet to praise the girls. And a teary-eyed chief executive Becky Canesse couldn't have been prouder in rounding up with what we all were thinking: These girls are what matters. That's why we were there.

Grant and reporter/columnist Vin Mannix were there to capture the moments. Here's a shot of veteran Mannix in his new mode: videographer!

And in this one below, I missed the best shot fumbling with my own iPhone. They were team-tagging, Grant with the stills that make up this beautiful gallery, and Vin filming the video below. Grant almost had his head on Vin's chin. You can still see his lense peering over Vin's shoulder if you squint.