Twenty-one primary and secondary school students returned to their classroom this week with the tools to be better listeners.
During an interactive, fun-filled session, well-known lyricist and spoken word artist Adrian Green showed them how the ears, body, and eyes are all involved in the listening process.
But the students who were attending a one-day workshop at the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s Warren’s Great House went home with more than improved listening skills. They received textbooks, school supplies, and Pages Bookstore Gift Certificates to buy their other items required for school. The outreach for children between the ages of 5 and 15 from throughout Barbados was organised by four units of the bank – the Chief Accountant Division, Financial Reporting, Planning & Analysis, Treasury and Accounts Payable and Sourcing.
Associate Director, Financial Reporting at the bank, Sharina Marshall, said that usually during the summer vacation when parents were outfitting their children for a new school year, individuals often received requests for help from parents faced with difficulties in meeting the back-to-school needs.
She said that to help them the bank’s employees wanted to create a programme that would significantly impact the wider community and directly affect the children. As a result, the staff of the four units organised a coordinated effort called First Initiative which targeted students requiring assistance.
In addition to their individual financial efforts, they received support from the bank’s charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean International Comtrust Foundation, which runs the Adopt-a-Cause programme. This resulted in the day-long programme during which the bank staff and participants engaged in playing a variety of games, painting and getting to know each other prior to the session with Adrian Green and the presentation ceremony.
Teacher at the St. George Primary School, Ms. Allison King, who was a resource person at the workshop, said she was thrilled with the event: “It was more than bringing children or parents and presenting them with gifts. This time it was personal… the children met the bank staff. The bank staff got to see their faces and to have fun with them.”
She said the need for help around this time of the year was usually significant, adding that she believed she spoke for all the schools with pupils attending the function when she said the bank’s effort was welcomed. “We really appreciate the blessing … it was more than expected.”
She commended the level of involvement by the staff in the project. In addition to organising the event, they worked out logistics with parents, procured booklists which were lodged with Pages Bookstore, which partnered with them on the project.
The children were equally pleased. Amita Arthur was happy to be a guest in the historic Warren’s Great House. “We had lots of fun and the staff were nice and friendly and were interested in getting to know us,” she said. (PR)