Students of the Corinth Secondary School, past and present, have all had to deal with the same predicament. There has never really been a sickbay or any private area where students can be taken if they fall sick during school hours.
A project meant to alleviate the plight of students is well underway with assistance from the Edward for Education Foundation, a charity-based organization meant to assist several selected schools, providing specific needs for comfortable teaching and learning.
Edward for Education, endorsed by the ministry of education has plans to undertake yearly projects with emphasis on providing better working and studying environment for children and teachers at selected schools. The Foundation seeks to engage in projects that are “realistic” that make a significant impact on the environment where children and teachers spend most of their time.
On Wednesday, January 19, the people behind the Foundation, including artiste Claudia ‘The Diva’ Edward showed face at the Corinth Secondary School for a cheque a presentation ceremony. A fundraising concert was held on Sunday, December 19 at the St Lucia Golf Club to raise money that would go towards building a sick bay for the school. At the event, jewelry, ladies handbags and paintings from prominent St Lucian artistes and other items were all auctioned off. In the end, Edward for Education raised $15,000 for the cause.
“Students of Corinth Secondary School will soon be able to wait, and rest comfortably in a room properly equipped to meet their needs,” said Claudia Edward at the presentation ceremony after form one student Zidon William gave his welcome remarks. “With the successful completion of this project, Edward for Education will gain the trust of the ministry of education, the business community and schools around the island for projects to follow.”
In the future the organization will be working with the education ministry to target schools with the greatest need for assistance. Edward for Education intends to undertake other projects like tiling classrooms, paving school yards, providing fans for comfortable teaching and learning in the classroom, furnishing a school with a library and providing books for a library.
Chief Education Officer Augusta Ifill, who just happened to have taught Claudia Edward at St Joseph’s Convent years ago recalled her singing talent.
“Every time we had a show Claudia would be singing, whether it be Country and Western or whatever, she was always ready to assist. I wasn’t surprised when she called with the idea to give back to schools because this has been the type of person I’ve known her to be. Wanting to do things, to be active, to give back.”
Ifill noted she’d visited the Corinth Secondary School on a number of occasions and seen students sitting at the entrance to the main office.
“On behalf of the ministry of education, I would like to thank Edward for Education for offering that assistance to Corinth Secondary School,” said Ifill
Student, Christa Nicholas thanked Edward for the “amazing contribution.”
“Many of us here, particularly the girls, have felt the lack of privacy and discomfort when we fall sick and have to sit outside the office for everyone to see us crying and suffering because of pain,” said Nicholas. “Sometimes when a student gets extremely sick you get a crowd of students peeking through the window or crowding the office door to have a look. A sick bay will ensure we have the comfort we need while we wait for medical treatment or our parents.”
Edward thanked everyone who’d come together to put on the show including musicians who performed at no cost like Carl Gustave, TC Brown, Shayne Ross and Claudia’s band Naked Chords.
“It’s our first fund raising activity, we did pretty well,” Edward added, before presenting the cheque to the principal of the Corinth Secondary School along with Thomas Ladner, manager of Harry Edwards, St Lucia who’s also part of the Edward for Education Foundation.
When he spoke, school principal Willard Andrew was visibly surprised at value of the contribution. In his words: “Honestly it exceeded our expectations; we were actually expecting something a little smaller. This will go a long way in beginning this project. This is where it all begins, the solution we need in St Lucia is for people to give honestly of their time, experience, effort and influence so we can turn around the children in St Lucia.”
Edward for Education will continue to work with Corinth Secondary School for an entire year, initiating more fundraising activities that will bring them closer to their goal.