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Schools support group delivers $50,000 of supplies to primaries

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Support Public Schools and Butterfield Bank school supplies donated to Elliot Primary School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Public primary schools were given $25,000 worth of school supplies yesterday.

Support Public Schools, set up to buy and deliver school supplies for government primary schools, delivered half of its $50,000 worth of equipment to schools in the central and eastern parishes.

Deliveries started at Elliot Primary in Devonshire and finished at St David’s Primary in St George’s.

Juliana Snelling, the founder of the public service group, said: “I would like to express my sincere and huge gratitude to our supporters, especially the team at Butterfield Bank who have given so generously from our inception.

“We couldn’t have accomplished all that we have during the past four years without our supporters wanting to make a big difference in the lives of so many students, teachers and families.”

The organisation will donate the rest of their school supplies today in the rest of the central parishes and in the West End.

Support Public Schools was started in 2018 to raise cash for school supplies for government primary schools.

The group hands out pencils, textbooks and other materials twice a year.

Teachers are asked to submit “wish lists” of resources needed for their classrooms.

AF Smith’s and the Phoenix Group, SPS’s retail suppliers, offer the school supplies at a reduced price and a variety of sponsors, including Butterfield Bank, buy the equipment on behalf of the schools.

Ms Snelling said that the bank had bought $25,000 worth of school supplies every year for the past three years.

She added that it was vital that the island’s private sector rallied around schools to assist the education department to provide supplies for children.

Ms Snelling said: “We cannot sit back and expect the ministry to go in alone when addressing the issue, when government is struggling to provide financial assistance to many families left penniless by the health crisis, while also having to spend millions on the schools’ ailing infrastructures.”

She added: “We must all acknowledge that improving the quality of public school education is an urgent national imperative that must be addressed holistically, recognising that it takes the entire community to properly educate a child.

Ms Snelling said: “We cannot deny the major gap between the financial resources and opportunities available to public versus private school students, even in the good times.

“With the severe economic hardship suffered by many, even before the pandemic, increasing numbers of parents are struggling with the cost of basic school supplies for their children.”

Michael Neff, the Butterfield Bank managing director, appealed to others in the business world to get involved.

He said: “Investing in education and empowering Bermuda’s students to achieve their aspirations is something Butterfield is committed to doing.

“The next generation are tomorrow’s leaders and we are proud to have been able to directly contribute resources and support teachers’ needs."

Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, thanked everyone involved in the donations.

She added: “We are most appreciative of every sponsor and their extremely generous donations which will enable our primary school students and their schools to receive additional resources.”

“Thank you, on behalf of our students, staff, and parents, to all of the supporters responsible for this week's winter giving delivery.

“We applaud all of you for answering the call of this wonderful and impactful community action initiative led by SPS – Support Public Schools."

Support Public Schools and Butterfield Bank deliver supplies to Elliot Primary (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published January 19, 2022 at 7:46 am (Updated January 19, 2022 at 7:46 am)

Schools support group delivers $50,000 of supplies to primaries

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