A retired teacher of the Frederick Smith Secondary School is planning to introduce a mentorship programme, with the alumni, to help steer current students in the right direction.
Erlyn Toppin, who taught at the institution for 20 years, is appealing to past students to volunteer their time and resources, through her proposed initiative, to help save children who may be heading down the wrong path.
She explained that each volunteer would be assigned to a first or second form student whose progress at home and school they would follow, while working with parents and teachers.
“We are only doing it with the first and second form students, where the foundation is. I don’t even know if we have enough manpower to do the whole school, but we will make a start with these students,” Toppin said.
Persons interested in becoming mentors are invited to a special meeting at the Trents, St James school on Saturday, February 29, at 3 p.m.
“We just want you to give that child some attention, love and care, because we know that we can save some children in conjunction with the parents and the teachers. We want people to attend the meeting so we can explain to old scholars how we can help the school.
“There are children who are crying out for help, and because you are old scholars you will have a more intimate understanding of the school and how it functions. If a child can’t get the homework done and you can find a way to help them with the homework, you do so,” Toppin said.
Last year, the Frederick Smith Secondary School attracted national attention when a student was stabbed by another who has since been charged.
Toppin said that while the negative publicity was not good for the institution, the public needed to be reminded that the school continued to produce outstanding citizens who are making a positive contribution to society.
“It is our school and we know all about the good happening at the school and whatever pitfalls there might be. I want ideas from old scholars to join together to see what we can do for our school.
“All is not lost at Frederick Smith. There are more good things going on there than bad, but the bad has a way of showing up. We have students that are doing very well and many of them make it in the news too,” the former educator contended.