Approximately one hundred and sixty students from all education levels have benefited from the Melissa Skerrit Foundation’s Adopt a Child Back to School Program.
Fifteen scholarships were also given for each level of school, including preschool, primary school, high school and college. The scholarships were made possible through a collaborative effort with Montreal Management Consultants (MMC) and Petro Caribe.
The scholarships and school supplies were distributed at a ceremony held at the Arawak House of Culture on Monday September 11 2017, where founder of the foundation, Melissa Skerrit, stated that every child should be given a fair chance at an education.
This she said is why she started the program which has been in operation for a few years.
“The past three years saw this program extend scholarships and vital school supplies to over one thousand students from the preschool, primary school, secondary school and at the college level. I have also visited the homes of some of you, and there I learnt that some of you are unable to send your children to school because of an inability to provide breakfast and snacks, and that was inacceptable to me. It was at that point I came up with the idea of providing a child with a snack,” she explained.
Mrs. Skerrit, said the pilot school feeding program was launched during the 2016/2017 academic year at the Roseau Primary School and the St. Martin Primary School.
Research conducted, she added, has shown an increased attendance at school, which resulted in the foundation extending the benefits to more students in the first the schools, while plans to bring the program to other schools are in the making.
The foundation she said continues its mandate to ensure every child has a chance at an education, and because of this has extended its reach to all education levels.
Parents were then urged to work together with her.
“I need you to help me in order to help you. Snack assistance was requested for the kids to ensure that they eat and they attend school; let us not deprive them of this necessity. The Melissa Skerrit Foundation continues its mandate to ensure that each child gets a chance to succeed,” she encouraged.
The program she revealed has been extended for the 2017 to 2018 academic year with an increased number of recipients at all academic levels.
The backpacks donated are equipped with school supplies to include scientific calculators, books, stationary kits, art kits, writing pads, rulers, geometry sets folders, folder sheets and more.