The Rotary Club of Sunrise of Grand Bahama Sunrise made a generous donation to four primary schools Wednesday, September 22, morning during their weekly meeting.
President of the Club Kerline McPhee informed us that the donations were made possible with the help of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau.
“September is basic education and literacy month for Rotary, so our effort was geared toward, ‘How can we can help students?” This donation is the third of our give backs for the month. Our club’s secretary, Taasa Davis did an amazing job liaising with the Administrators of Hugh W. Campbell, Freeport Primary, Walter Parker and Maurice Moore Primary Schools.
“What initially happened was, we were going to assist one student from each school but fortunately it worked out to where we were able to receive a donation from the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau arm of the Grand Bahama Port Authority. This donation included 30 loaded backpacks and also 20 vouchers valued at $50.00 all for the students.
“The vouchers can be used to purchase textbooks and school supplies. We also received a donation of 30 cases of water for the students from BWA (Bahamas Wholesale Agency),” McPhee shared.
Wednesday’s donation was the club’s last give back for the month.
“We know that families are still experiencing economic challenges and so what we are trying to do is lighten the load. We know that students are still in need and a lot of parents are not working. We are almost at the end of September, but students still need supplies. We are grateful that we could give back with the generosity of the GBPA and them trusting us to find the need of the community” said McPhee.
A number of principals were present for the donation and spoke about the challenges as a result of COVID-19.
Principal of Hugh Campbell Primary Rodney Bethel thanked the club president for the kind gesture.
“On a daily basis we have about 10 to 15 percent of students who are unable to get online because of lack of Internet connectivity. Their parents simply do not have the funds to pay for the Internet and so in cases like that our teachers will provide packages and give out worksheets so that all of our students will be covered.
“We do not know for sure how long we will continue with the virtual system, but a lot of our parents are asking us when we are going to return to face-to-face again. For obvious reasons parents have to go back to work, and students are left home, that is especially in the case of preschoolers and first graders.
“Who will guide them? Who will direct them on how to do their lessons and so forth and so we have issues in that regard. We are trying, we are coping. It is something new and I think that the more we do it, the better we will be in navigating the system to impact all of our students.
“I want to say thank you to the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise. Thank you for the invite and thank you for these donations. We appreciate your generosity,” Bethel said.
Principal of Freeport Primary School Gia Walker expressed similar sentiments.
“I too would like to say thank you to all of you for what you do in our community, first of all. I believe it is important to practice what you preach. When giving service and helping people, do it in tangible ways and you are definitely an example of that with the donations that you are giving to our students.
“Similar to what Mr. Bethel said in happening at Hugh Campbell, the same thing is happening at all of our schools, Freeport Primary as well. Parents are anxious, questioning when kids will be able to return to school, some ask when school is reopening. A lot of them do not believe that school is open and so, it has been a challenge working on the virtual platform, but we are getting there day by day,” Walker shared.
“We realize, like Mr. Bethel said, our parents are anxious and frustrated and so, these donations for our children, we are greatly appreciative of them. Again, on behalf of the students and parents of Freeport Primary, thank you so much for these donations,” concluded Walker.