School is About to Open

And I stopped, briefly, by the San Pedro Roman Catholic school in town today to take a few pictures of the preparation.  As far as I know, it is the only truly public school in town.  And it is PACKED.   Everyone who has been to San Pedro knows the RC School or knows one of the kids who attended.  You can see them all around town in their navy and white uniforms starting September 5th.
The cute painting they have around the school wall.
I received this email from my friend and neighbor Brenda yesterday asking for my and your help.  What a great cause.  Please let one of us know if you would like to help!
This is what she has to say:
I’m a retired teacher, school administrator, and university professor and always like to get involved with projects that benefit children.

When I visited the RC School — the largest school on the island serving almost 1,000 students from Infant I (similar to K in the USA) to Standard 6 (similar to Gr 7 in the USA) — in December and asked “What can I do to help?” the principal Ms. Kay immediately said that the teachers wanted to replace the school’s aging blackboards with dry-erase whiteboards.

Sooo, I embarked on the project — doing research on prices, types, etc. I visited the school one morning to measure all the boards and discovered several things:

1. The RC school’s classrooms are VERY crowded. The teachers really
cannot roam from student to student to offer individual help. There is
simply not enough room to walk among the desks.

2. The chalk boards are really plywood painted with chalkboard paint —
not smooth and many have been in place since the school was rebuilt in the
60’s after being destroyed by a hurricane.

3. I know that the classrooms were open air but I really didn’t know the
level of dust and sand that comes into the classrooms each day. Add the
humidity and the chalk dust and by the afternoon you can actually see the
air!

4. AND despite the crowded classrooms and meager/aged supplies and
equipment (as compared to schools in the US and Canada), quality teaching
going on and children learning. Indeed, here’s the link to an article
that appeared in the San Pedro Sun in June about how well the RC School’s
students did on the Belize National Exams for 2010-11 school year:
http://www.sanpedrosun.com/education/2011/06/09/alessandra-gutierrez-4th-highest-pse-grade-country/

This Spring the RC School quietly started the Adopt-A-Whiteboard campaign.
The press release below gives more details.

With the opening of school just around the corner, I am helping the school
to spread the word more widely. Most of the campaign has focused on
approaching San Pedro businesses — especially those businesses that serve
tourists.

But now, we want to encourage individuals to band together to
Adopt-A-Whiteboard. Just 10 people who each contribute $35BZ each can pay
for the whiteboard for one of the school’s classrooms. Each board costs
$350 BZ.

What would these people get in return? First, the satisfaction of knowing
that they are helping the children of San Pedro. Second, they will get a
personal, hand-written thank you note from the children in the “adopted”
classroom. I guarantee that these thank you notes will bring a smile to
anyone’s face.

(And here is the official press release).

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

RC School Needs Funds for Whiteboards to Replace Old Chalkboards

School starts Monday September 5 and the San Pedro RC School needs your help.

The teachers and volunteers are working to replace the school’s old
blackboards with new dry-erase, whiteboards and has launched an
“Adopt-A-Whiteboard” campaign.

These new whiteboards are better for children’s learning AND health.

As you know, the classrooms at the RC School classrooms are open to the
air, with lots of dust and sand coming into the rooms from the beach and
streets. Add the humidity and chalk dust and, by the afternoons, you can
actually see the air in classrooms.

Over the years, many children and their teachers have complained about
breathing problems.

To combat the sneezing, coughing, and breathing problems, the teachers set
a goal to get whiteboards for the school’s classrooms for the 2011-12
school year.

For $350 BZ, your business, organization or even you, as an individual,
can “adopt” a whiteboard for the children of the RC School.

Already Mr. Curt Fisher, owner of the Blue Tang Resort, has “adopted” 10
classrooms. Exotic Caye Resort and SEAduced have each adopted a
classroom.

For the betterment of the students of the RC School, please make a donation.
Contact Principal Roxani Kay at the RC School. Her office number is
226-2550.

Contact:
Ms. Roxani Kay, Principal, San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School
226-2550 (school office)
622-3266 (cell phone)
roxanicruz@yahoo.com




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  • Awesome! It’s a great cause… thanks for getting the word out SP Scoop!