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Adopt-a-School scheme making an impact on young students

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Kevin Bean, a senior adjunct lecturer at the Bermuda College, delivers a woodworking class as part of the Adopt-a-School scheme. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A pilot Adopt-a-School programme aimed at introducing young people to the field of woodworking has already begun to make headway, according to organisers.

Rick Richardson, the president of Hamilton Rotary, said the group had partnered with the Bermuda Technical Institute Association to launch the initiative at Paget Primary.

Mr Richardson said: “We wanted to make an impact in these young lives, so it is really rewarding to see how such a very basic, small adopt-a-school programme is able to impact these lives.

“It is rewarding right away even though it is very early and really a pilot programme. It is amazingly gratifying.

A student taking part in a lesson as part of an Adopt-a-School programme at Paget Primary School (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“The principal is quite impressed and sent me a WhatsApp saying that there are eight kids in that class now, but parents are calling them asking how their children can get into this class.”

Kevin Bean, a senior adjunct lecturer at the Bermuda College for the prerequisite technical programme, who is delivering the woodworking classes at the school, said the first step had been to teach the students about fractions.

“Once they have a handle of that, we can start working on other projects,” he said.

“My philosophy, having been in the technical area, is that woodworking is applied mathematics. There is the adage that you should measure twice and cut once.

“Once I can get them to understand that, fractions and how it applies to the woodworking, we can go about how to manipulate the numbers to work for you.”

Dezl Tucker takes part in a lesson as part of an Adopt-a-School programme at Paget Primary School (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Richardson added that while the class had begun only two weeks ago, the students enrolled had already made “quite a bit” of progress.

“We saw them measuring out on rulers that they had created, and basic rulers, various measurements that he was asking them to do, and they also had work to take home,” he said.

“I was very, very impressed at the progress the primary school students had made over the course of two weeks.”

The Paget Primary programme, which is funded by Hamilton Rotary along with Bermuda Technical Institute Association members, focuses on the basics of fundamental carpentry that lead to promoting critical thinking along with creativity.

The Adopt-a-School concept has a history in Bermuda: a scheme was launched in 2010 under former premier Dame Jennifer Smith, who was education minister at the time.

Tikoa Russell listens during a lesson at Paget Primary school (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Simon Tully, the president of the Construction Association of Bermuda, said he was impressed by the programme.

“Not only are they getting some mathematics, but they are going to use that to actually make something,” he said. “It’s one thing to sit in a classroom and listen to figures, but it’s another thing to put it into action.”

Mr Tully added that there were a range of opportunities in the trades internationally, so those with a passion for working with their hands should be encouraged.

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Published October 11, 2022 at 6:01 am (Updated October 11, 2022 at 6:01 am)

Adopt-a-School scheme making an impact on young students

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