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65 Students Sign-up For United Way Summer Enrichment Programme

Mark Fulford (right), Chairman of United Way Turks and Caicos, along with his executive team join the campers in a photo op.

Sixty-five students from across Providenciales between the ages of 7 and 12 are participating in the United Way Turks and Caicos Islands three-week Summer Enrichment Programme, which kicked off on Monday (July 10) at the Salvation Army’s Brighter Futures Centre.

Claudine Ewing, Executive Director for United Way Turks and Caicos told the news media that the participants came from both private and public schools. She said the programme’s total focus is on literacy, and that it is totally free of charge.

For the duration of the camp, the children will be taught Reading Comprehension, Math, Science Experiments and Arts and Crafts. Ewing said the five employed tutors tasked with educating the children over the period are trained teachers, who are currently teaching public primary schools on Providenciales.

“We are focusing on literacy, that’s our stronghold here, and we figured that last time we did anything for summer was the Reading Buddies Programme,” Ewing said. “We try to avoid brain-drain during summer, and with literacy being our passion, (and because of) the good suggestion by our treasurer, Mrs. (Snjezana) Andrews (we have) decided that we are going to go big, and we are going to offer a summer enrichment camp.”

She said corporate Turks and Caicos has committed to sponsoring the meals for the entire three weeks, stating also that many persons have undertaken to become volunteer.

“United Way is big on volunteers. And throughout the three weeks, we are going to have our volunteers pop-in, and they can partake in subjects that they are good at, to help along,” Ewing further explained.

Chairman of United Way Turks and Caicos, Mark Fulford (centre), Snjezana Andrews (second from left), United Way TCI Treasurer, and Claudine Ewing (third from left), Executive Director for United Way TCI, join Salvation Army Majors Ernest Gachelin (right), Germanie Gachelin(left) and United Way volunteers for a photo op at the first day of the three-week Summer Enrichment Programme

“Everything is completely free. The only thing the kids are asked to bring is a water jug so that they can refill their water,” she added.

Ewing said one-on-one assessments with the teachers and the volunteers were done on Monday, further explaining that from the second day until the end of the camp, each child would be assigned to his/her proper grade level class.

“We are hoping that if we have a child that is supposed to be in grade two, but is actually at a grade one level, that by the end of the three weeks we would see some progress,” she pointed out.

Ewing stated that in September, United Way would be implementing an after-school education intervention programme in government primary schools, which she said would be done in conjunction with the Department of Education, to foster literacy amongst children.

“They (Department of Education) are giving us the guidance on where we need to go to help, because we want to ensure that we are not outside of what the government actually had planned, but we want to help,” she reiterated.

She said in September United Way Turks and Caicos, which started in 2018, and launched in 2019, will be looking to hire teachers to carry out its education mandate.

In the meantime, Ewing revealed that United way Turks and Caicos is slated to unveil a catalogue of programmes within the next two years, geared at hauling our children from the pit of illiteracy.

“So we encourage the public to come on board, either donate your time or your money…it is going to go to good use,” she assured.

“We had two community conversations recently…we had a female and a male, and there were lots of programmes that came out of these conversations that we are going be launching as well, because it was the people’s idea, and if it is your idea you are going to want to help,” she said.

Declaring the programme open, Chairman for United Way Turks and Caicos Mark A Fulford, said: “ It is a joy to see the many smiling faces of all the kids that have signed up and is in actual attendance at day one of the United Way TCI Summer Camp.

“These three weeks have been carefully designed to enrich the lives of the participants of this camp, by enhancing their skills in Reading, Math, Science and Arts & Crafts. My board of directors are elated to be providing the funding for this camp as we are sure that any investment into the youth of this country is a good investment.

“We thank the Parents for their confidence in United Way TCI and for entrusting their precious ones to us for these three weeks. We will ensure that they have lots of fun while learning, and we promise to deliver them back safely and more knowledgeable in the areas of Reading, Math, Science and Arts & Crafts. We want to say a special thanks to the Teachers, volunteers and sponsors who are the real MVP to make this camp a reality!”


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