|Schools get boost from Grace Bay Resorts, Veranda|
|Thursday, 27 May 2010 11:38|
Dr. Carlton Mills took special pleasure in his most recent trip to his home island of South Caicos, delivering much needed supplies and cash to hurricane damaged Iris Stubbs Elementary and Marjorie Basden High schools.
After all, he attended both schools and even served as principal at the high school.
A former Minister of Education, Mills is now manager of Talent, Growth and Community Affairs for Grace Bay Resorts. He started the Adopt-a-School program last year as part of Grace Bay Resorts Foundation to help schools in the communities outside of Providenciales that are in dire need of resources.
On May 22, Mills and a boatload of employees from Grace Bay Resorts and Veranda Resort and Residences — which is managed by Grace Bay Resorts — delivered an air conditioner, water coolers, a laser jet printer, printer paper, surge protection power supplies and other items to the elementary school.
They also helped clean up the school yard and assessed the last major task — repairing the fence around the school to keep animals out and children in. The school still needs materials and furniture for new reading center that has just been completed.
Earlene Elliott, principal of Iris Stubbs Elementary, fought back tears as she spoke in one of the newly rebuilt classrooms, complete with new student and teacher desks.
“If you look around in this classroom, this classroom was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. And for some of us, hope died. But if you look around today, you will see that everything in this room has been supplied by the efforts of the Veranda family. Our students, staff and parents are so appreciative of it.
“Today, this is just another effort that the Veranda is making sure that quality education is delivered to the students of the Iris Stubbs Primary School. There were so many promises that were made, but they were not fulfilled, but since the very first meeting, Veranda has come through for us.”
“The entire Turks and Caicos community will see that there are still corporate citizens out there who are willing to invest — even though right now the economy is a little stagnant — in the future education of our children.”
David Bowen, principal of Marjorie Basden High School, said hurricane damages created a depressing environment for teachers and students, but repairs finally began in November.
“Many times we feel forgotten. Many times we feel as if nobody cares, but I must say that since the efforts of this group started, our spirits have been lifted. The students’ spirits have been lifted.”
“We are well on our way to full recovery,” Bowen said.
Among those hauling supplies and cleaning up the school yard were Donna Musgrove, foundation secretary and chairman of the Adopt-a-School Committee, Grace Bay Club General Manager Thierry Grandsire and even Mark Durliat, CEO of Grace Bay Resorts.
“I’m very, very honored to be able to do what I am doing and what our team is doing, so with that I wish you the best of luck and let you know that we’ll be back very, very soon,” Durliat assured the school principals.
He pointed out that tourism — the country’s leading industry — made it possible for Grace Bay Resorts to help.
“Every single tourist matters,” he said. “It’s their endorsement of this country that helps us be a good corporate citizen, to do what was done today. We are going to continue to do that as long as tourism stays strong.”
In December the foundation delivered supplies to Charles Hubert James Primary School and Adelaide Oemler Primary school on North Caicos.
The foundation intends to make at least quarterly assessment trips to both North and South Caicos to analyze each school’s needs and to see how students are coping in their refurbished environments.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 27 May 2010 11:42|
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