They say that money is the root of all evil but, sometimes, it can be a source of good.
Marco Robinson is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, famous for (among other things) giving away property as part of the TV show “Get a House For Free”. While he and his actions have garnered much praise over the years, he came under fire for a remark he made in a recent interview.
Robinson remarked that schools in the United Kingdom don’t teach children the financial skills that they need to be successful in life. This comment aggravated Gemma Norris of the Digby Church of England Primary School. So she decided to write him a strongly worded e-mail, fully expecting to never hear back.
“I said, tongue-in-cheek, that maybe Marco would like to come into our school,” Norris told Lincolnshire Live, “and then two weeks later, his people got in touch and said he would love to.”
Robinson arranged to meet up on December 15. He spoke to the children, allowing them to ask whatever questions they wanted. He was quite open with them.
“They were asking me questions all the time about my life, what it is was like to leave my dad who was a gambler,” Robinson said. “The first thing on my mind was to look after my mum.”
“One child asked him how it felt to give away a house? He said he cried for a day,” Norris recalled.
Although there were some questions he didn’t want to answer.
“Of course there were questions about how much he was worth, but he was very down to earth,” Norris continued.
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Robinson sat with the kids at lunch and made sure to ask for each of their names. He didn’t stop there, though. He also made sure to ask the kids what they wanted to do when they’re older. What he did next will shock you!
“One [child] said they wanted to work with pottery,” Norris explained. “He’s told me to buy ten pottery tables and bring someone in to teach them. I cried—it wasn’t about getting anything for free, it was about showing him what we do.”
Clearly Robinson’s visit went over well with the kids, who were high-fiving and chanting his name on his way out. Yet Norris wondered if he had learned his lesson about teaching finance in schools. The short answer was “yes.”
“I had a go at school teachers a bit in my interview and Gemma had a go back,” Robinson explained. “She is a fantastic teacher because she teaches things that are relevant to everyday life.”
I recently visited Gemma Norris and her students at Digby Church of England Primary School. It was great meeting all the students and talking story. Gemma is a fantastic teacher and teaches things that are relevant to everyday life! You can read the full article here: http://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/local-news/tv-millionaire-who-taken-task-932887
It seems like both parties got quite a bit out of the interaction.
“It was wonderful to come to the school. I have never spoken to kids of that age before—but I’m a big kid myself so it went well,” Robinson said.
“He is a very inspirational guy, he is just very positive about life and very generous,” said Norris. “The children were absolutely inspired by him when he came in.”
— Marco Robinson (@marcorobinson7) December 16, 2017
“I told them about my life and said it doesn’t matter what people tell you you can do, it’s about what you want to do,” Robinson posited.
It seems like what Robinson wants to do is better the community in any way he can, even if it means admitting he was wrong. And, while Norris is glad he admitted his mistake, she’s even more glad that the kids have a new role model in their lives.
— DigbyPrimarySchool (@DigbyPrimary) June 26, 2017