The annual back to school donation exercise of the St Michael North West Constituency Development Foundation received a major boost from a Trinidad-based company this year.
In addition to parents being given approximately 150 cash vouchers to shop for school uniforms, shoes and bags, the unnamed company, which is involved in the printing business, donated about 10,000 exercise books.
Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for the area, Chris Sinckler could not immediately say what the exact value of the donations was this year, but noted it could “easily run into the thousands of dollars”.
He told Barbados TODAY the need in the constituency for school supplies was about the same this year as in previous years. However, he said the Foundation was taking a more tailored approach to assisting parents and guardians in need.
“We are trying to match the requirements, so during the course of the year the staff would be speaking with people and we would see what is more needed. Before, we used to just bring stuff and give it out, but working with the parents we are able now to be a little bit more accurate in terms of numbers and requirements,” explained Sinckler.
He also pointed out that by giving the parents vouchers to pick up the school items themselves it gave them more choice.
Today, Sinckler stopped by the Nightingale Children’s Home in Black Rock, the Eagle Hall Primary School and Deacons Primary School, to donate the exercise books. He promised to return in a few weeks with reading books.
Principal of the Eagle Hall Primary School Orlando Jones told Barbados TODAY he was thankful for the donation.
“There is always that great need among the students here at Eagle Hall Primary . . . so anything that is provided, whether it be for academic, sports, or any other area, we welcome it because there are large pockets of students who are without,” he said.
Jones said that this school term there would be a heavy focus on “increasing the success in everything, among all the students”.
“May it be sports, may it be etiquette, may it be academics, coming to school early or coming regularly to school. The teachers are on board. We have rolled out that programme of how to reach our consequences and full outcomes,” he explained, adding that a greater focus would also be placed on preparing students for Mathematics and Composition for the 11-plus exam next year.
Principal of Deacons Primary School Jennifer Jordan also expressed gratitude for the items, saying that the school needed all the help it could get.
“They came at a great time – the beginning of the term. From Monday I had some pupils asking for exercise books. It is a timely donation and a wonderful gesture,” she said.
Director of the Child Care Board Joan Crawford was equally grateful for the donation for wards of the Nightingale Children’s Home. (MM)