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Hundreds pick up school supplies at fun day

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Along for the ride: Smiling youngsters enjoy a train ride at the Back-to-School fun day at Victor Scott Primary on Saturday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A back-to-school event organised by a group of Progressive Labour Party MPs has been deemed a roaring success, with more than 400 people taking part.

Michael Weeks, the Shadow Minister of Culture, said the annual event first came about six years ago when he and his wife noticed that people were struggling to afford school supplies.

“These parents were not necessarily concerned about having new items of clothing or shoes for their children, but that they could not even afford to purchase pencils or pens,” he said.

“Cindy and I, quite moved by the experience, decided that we needed to do something.

“We tossed around several ideas, but the ‘Free Community Back-to-School Fun Day’ was what we decided upon, primarily because if these parents in our constituency were in need of school supplies, perhaps so were others. Initially, we would set aside funds each year to facilitate the event but, over the years, it has grown in leaps and bounds. So much so that we are fortunate to partner with the surrounding constituencies MPs, Walter Roban and Rolfe Commissiong, and community partners who sponsor various facets of the event.

“Without provocation, we also receive donations to this good cause in the form of food, clothing items and even those who volunteer their time.”

He said that this year almost 400 students from across the Island attended the event at Victor Scott Primary School, receiving a backpack and other school supplies.

Among the various food and games there was also a white elephant table, where parents could find “like new” school clothes, shoes and other items.

For the second year, a raft of helping agencies also took part in the event, including the Diagnostics Centre, Scars, the Heard Chapel Homework Club, Open Airways, the Women’s Resource Centre, the Focus Counselling Centre and the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.

“A great time was had by all, and we look forward to next year, when we will celebrate seven years in serving the community in this way,” Mr Weeks added.

• For more pictures, see the online photo gallery at the bottom of our home page.

Class act: From left, Serenity McQueen, 11, Zidonnae Robinson, 12, and La Quay Christopher, 11, show off the new backpacks they will be using when term starts at Dellwood Middle School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Fun in the sun:London Robinson, 8, and Paris Robinson, 9, are ready for the new school year at Elliot Primary
From right, Roxanne Commissiong; Rolfe Commissiong, MP of Constituency 21; Reverend Nicholas Tweed of St Paul AME Church; Walter Roban, MP of Constituency 15; and Michael Weeks, MP of Constituency 16; giving back to the community with free backpacks and school supplies for the upcoming school year (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Youngsters queue up to get body art at the fun day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
A pair of happy young girls enjoy the Back-to-School event (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
All smiles: Northlands Primary School students Sahonna Dunkley, 7, and Sanaa Grant pick up their new backpacks (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Victor Scott Primary student, Teneik Wallen, 8, is happy to be heading back to school with her new backpack (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Two young girls show off their butterfly face painting (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Children enjoy the fun slide at Victor Scott Primary for the Back-to-School fun day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)