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SPS donates $70,000 of classroom supplies

Representatives from Deloitte and Bank of Butterfield deliver school supplies to Victor Scott Primary School as part of the latest Support Public Schools materials drive (Phoitograph by Blaire Simmons)

Pupils and teachers were presented with $70,000 worth of classroom supplies, thanks to more donations made by a group set up to bolster public education.

Supporting Public Schools delivered the supplies to all 18 public primary schools on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The drive targeted materials for youngsters aged 6 and 7.

Juliana Snelling, founder of SPS, said that the two days “couldn’t have gone any better”.

She added: “We had a wonderful experience.”

Ms Snelling said that the deliveries were met by pupils at each school who came out to accept the donations.

She said: “That added ten times the joy to the whole project. My belief in the future of Bermuda is ten times reinforced over the last two days.”

She said that school staff were also grateful for the donations, which included art, music and physical education supplies.

Butterfield Bank purchased $20,000 worth of supplies, while Deloitte contributed $7,500 and insurance company MS Amlin added a further $5,000.

Tina Smith, the marketing account manager with Butterfield Bank, said: “The wish lists come directly from the teachers and schools — so we know that the classrooms will directly and immediately benefit from the donations.

“We also like the fact that our employees can get involved in selecting the items we are donating.”

Ms Smith challenged other companies to get involved with SPS “to help provide our students with the tools they need to have engaged learning experiences”.

Rachelle Frisby, chairwoman of the corporate social responsibility committee with Deloitte, said that the SPS effort aligned with two of the company’s core pillars: education and children.

She added that the company’s support of SPS also aligned with its global initiative to empower 50 million people by 2030.

Ms Frisby said: “This initiative exemplifies how we live our purpose — making an impact that matters — by ensuring that all children have the supplies and opportunities necessary to sustain a consistent and high-quality learning experience.”

More than 90 second-hand computers were also donated by Fidelity Investments and Lombard Odier.

Ms Snelling said that companies had already contacted her to help with the next round of deliveries, planned for May.

She encouraged other organisations to reach out to lend a hand.

Ms Snelling said: “You’ll be doing something to help one of our top three problems in Bermuda, which is investing in public education to narrow the gap.”

SPS is based on the US charity DonorsChoose.org, founded by a New York public schoolteacher, which was designed to help people make direct donations to schools.

SPS has donated a total of $110,000 worth of new school supplies to public schools in Bermuda since it was created last June.

For more information, visit the organisation’s website at SPS.bm.