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Sports Last Updated: Apr 28, 2018 - 10:53:17 AM

Bahamian’s International Company in a glorious race for home
By Tyrone Sawyer II
Apr 27, 2018 - 11:07:17 AM

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Photo: Mr. Tyrone (middle) of The Bahamas competes in the Carifta International Track and Field Meet in 2002 against Usain Bolt.

"On your mark...get set...GO!" Those are the words that Jemima Sawyer would hear drumming constantly, a few years back, as she sat nervously in the stands. Her husband, and co-founder of Jemima’s Playhouse, Tyrone Sawyer, Jr., competed in the supreme Track & Field event: the 100 meters. And he was very good! Challenging the likes of Usain Bolt (who turned out to be the greatest world beater!) as a junior athlete. Jemima recalls that her heart would beat so fast and her palms would sweat with the anticipation of the exciting races.

Now Jemima has found herself in another race; the race to perfection! And this road leads to The Bahamas. This takes the form of the steadfast expansion of Jemima’s Playhouse.  Jemima’s Playhouse started out as a twinkling in their eyes six years ago.  Today, Jemima Playhouse - replete with trademarked proprietary characters, unique lesson plans, excited team members, and proprietary songs, visits 20,000 students per week in five different states.

Gone is the need for sweaty palms. Jemima feels herself visibly relaxing as thousands and thousands of children bounce with anticipation every time an original song is played. Now the excitement comes from seeing the children ‘meet their imagination’ with a song, character or lesson plan to their liking.

Photo: Students dancing to the smash hit BahamaMan with Jemima's Playhouse instructors joining in the fun.

BahamaMan is the superhero that teaches social responsibility, but he is much more than that.  He has become a movement. Quite a simple, but compelling concept. Jemima’s Playhouse, is the inspiration for it all. It is the brainchild of Jemima, and her husband Tyrone, the former Bahamian track and field athlete. Now, they compete to capture the imagination of students all over the United States.

Most companies find the prospect of engaging students extremely hard to do, because it is difficult to keep the attention of children for any length of time. And this is the arena where Jemima and Tyrone chose to compete. And they have been able to do so successfully. Jemima’s Playhouse engages in a meaningful way with over 20,000 students a week in Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas. Through these interactions a lot of the inspiration emerges to propel Jemima’s Playhouse forward.

BahamaMan is a breakout character for the company.  This has stimulated the imagination of the students all over. His nemesis, Waste-A-Tron, that is keen on littering, is but another example of how the interaction with the students has inspired Jemima’s Playhouse to even greater heights.

Said Mr. Tyrone, “When we first started Jemima’s Playhouse, we wanted the students to hear songs from the perspective of our characters. After we sat down and starting playing the piano, the songs just started to flow.”

“Wednesday is Jemima’s Playhouse day at our school!” added Ms. Thonja Smith, Director of the Goddard School, Sandy Springs Georgia.  We were one of the first schools to adopt this program over six years ago. It has become a staple at our school and we have never regretted taking this step.  We highly recommend Jemima’s Playhouse to schools that are seeking a special energy to engage their students.”

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