Making An Impact
Published 25th May 2010, 1:44pm
John A. Cumber Primary School, the largest primary school in Caymanís education system, got a much-needed 3,500 sq. ft. expansion to its classrooms.
The project was undertaken recently by volunteers associated with the Miles Ahead: Do Something World-Cayman Festival.
In addition to tackling the schoolís capital works project, volunteers hosted a series of health education seminars - the intangible value of which could be manifested in the students, for years to come.
Explaining that the primary school originally had been built to accommodate roughly 300 students - it now has 514 enrolled - Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, said the expansion was more than welcome.
"These classrooms were built years ago, and weíve completely outgrown their capacity," he said. "When I attended John A. Cumber, classes ranged from 12-18 students. Now that number has almost doubled.
"This project couldnít have come at a better time," he continued. "Given the governmentís mandate to cut costs, the savings in labour means that we will deliver this project significantly under-budget."
John A. Cumberís two-phase expansion project is scheduled for completion this summer. The current phase adds outer walls and electrical installations, while the next phase, to be completed after school closes for the summer, includes demolishing existing concrete walls.
Thanking the Miles Ahead team for their generosity, John A. Cumber Principal Joseph Wallace commented, "3,500 sq. ft. is fantastic! Totally unexpected, but absolutely appreciated."
Minister Anglin added, "Government is extremely grateful for this type of partnership. Itís allowing us to take a project forward in a way that also highlights the traditional service nature of the church and strengthens community involvement in education."
Shifting from building classrooms to building healthy children, the teamís medical professionals spoke with the pupils about their diets, diabetes prevention, hypertension, and lifestyle choices.
"We chose these topics because data released by the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority last September showed that childhood obesity is a growing problem in the Cayman Islands," Medical Team Chief Joshua Kirby explained. "In fact, the findings showed that one in every five children ages 11-14 is overweight."
During the seminars a nurse on the team used felt boards to present diet information and discussed ways to address hypertension. A diabetes expert presented blood glucose sticks, showed the children how they worked, and how sugar flows through the body. Another team led a discussion on abstinence and healthy lifestyle choices.
The medical team members also left an educational activity and colouring book, which they developed, with the children.
The Do Something World initiative was founded by pastor and author Miles McPherson, and brought to Cayman by the Cayman Islands Ministers Association. During each campaign Miles Ahead partners with business, civic and church leaders to find sustainable solutions to community problems, by harnessing the life-changing power of volunteerism.
For more information, visit www.dosomethingcayman.com.
San Diegans Anissa Manfredi (left) and Mary Tess Cramm, volunteers with the Do Something World-Cayman Festival, add art to the walls at John A. Cumber Primary.
San Diegan volunteers and Public Works Department electrical technicians worked side by side.
New walls framed
Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, stopped by John A. Cumber Primary to thank the Do Something World-Cayman volunteers. From left are Do Something World-Cayman Festival Director Tim Innes; John A. Cumber Primary Principal Joseph Wallace; Do Something World Founder Miles McPherson; Minister Anglin; Do Something World-Cayman Committee Chairman Al Ebanks; Facilities Manager Tommy Ebanks; and the Ministryís Deputy Chief Officer Christen Suckoo.