As scorching temperatures across the island greet the new school year, three firms have teamed up to set up water stations at a rural primary school.
Hardware store Marshall Trading and health products distributor Pharmacy Sales Caribbean have joined beverage firm Newport Water to donate branded hydration stations to Hilda Skeene Primary School at Work Hall, St Philip through Newport Water’s Hydrate Programme.
The water coolers were unveiled Friday at a ceremony attended by school principal Wayne Bryan, representatives from the companies, and students. The donation comes as Chief Education Officer Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw urged this week that more watercoolers be installed at every school currently lacking a proper source of rehydration.
Marshall Trading’s Marketing Co-ordinator Akinwole Jordan said the company wanted to make a contribution to the school community’s health and well-being. Pharmacy Sales’ marketing assistant Shari Cumberbatch emphasised the brands Pedialyte, Aero, and Horizon, stating their association with health, wellness and preparedness.
Cumberbatch explained: “You might wonder why we specifically chose to donate a hydration station. Well, we believe education is not just about textbooks and classrooms; it’s about creating an environment where our young learners can thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. And one crucial aspect of this is proper hydration.”
One of the hydration stations displays advertising artwork from Pharmacy Sales’ Pedialyte, Aero, and Horizon brands which are associated with health and well-being. Cumberbatch emphasised the holistic nature of health, stating, “Pedialyte, known for its role in rehydration; Aero, a brand associated with overall healthcare, and Horizon, a symbol of safety and preparedness, have all come together to remind us that taking care of our health is a holistic endeavour. It’s about staying hydrated, taking care of our well-being, and being prepared for any challenges that may come our way.”
Akinwole Jordan, Marketing Co-ordinator at Marshall Trading, highlighted the St. Philip company’s ongoing efforts to make meaningful contributions to society, particularly within the community. He stressed the importance of proper hydration for students’ overall well-being and academic success, especially in the current extreme heat.
He said: “Marshall Trading has chosen to support this venture at Hilda Skeene because we are a community and family brand. And as such, we seek to be involved in ventures that are being undertaken by schools or community groups and organisations. “So, this sponsorship opportunity did not fall short from that and could not have happened at a better time. Given the extreme heat we feel these days, proper hydration is a vital component of each student’s overall well-being and ability to excel in and outside of the classroom.”
The two hydration stations were officially handed over to the school in the presence of Principal Wayne Bryan, who expressed gratitude to Hilda Skeene’s PTA for reaching out to the companies and commended the companies for their corporate social responsibility.
Bryan said: “At the top of the recommended Keep Cool Tips coming from the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training is ‘Stay Hydrated’.
“With the addition of these two Hydration Stations, students will be able to ensure that their water bottles are constantly filled with cool water, to sip across the duration of the school day. We at Hilda Skeene are thankful that parents, through the efforts of the PTA, realised the need to ensure that their children are able to stay hydrated during this very hot period.”
Sara Robinson, a Class 4 student, expressed wholehearted gratitude to the sponsors for donating the water stations and ensuring that all students stayed hydrated.
Newport Water encouraged other companies to follow the lead of Marshall Trading and PCSI by sponsoring hydration stations through its Hydrate Programme. Such sponsorships can contribute to creating a conducive learning environment for school children while helping them cope with the heat.
Firms seeking to sponsor a station or schools interested in hosting a station should contact Newport Water at 420-3590 or visit its website at www.newport-water.com/hydrate-barbados. (PR)