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Feb 8, 2023

St. Joseph RC School Gets a Playground from Rotary Club Belize Sunrise

Over at Saint Joseph RC School in Belize City, the Rotary Club Belize Sunrise officially inaugurated a playground inside the school compound. It has been five years in the making, as the school was on a waiting list to receive a donated playground that will help facilitate a well-rounded educational experience for the hundreds of students attending the school. News Five’s Duane Moody was there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and files this report. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

Saint Joseph R.C. School waited five years to have their students play like this. They were on a waiting list for the donation of playground equipment for their students. And so today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially inaugurate the playground, including slides and swings, was a welcomed moment of excitement for the children and the leadership at the school.


Claudia Avilez

Claudia Avilez, Principal, St. Joseph RC School

“This is a dream of ours for over five years, and finally in October, we received message that yes, this dream would be a reality. We are ecstatic because our students have a big yard, but the items that you have seen here today will only enhance the play of our students. We are looking forward to engaging our students in many meaningful interplay on the playground with varied activities that interact from inside the classroom and outside.”


The Rotary Club Belize Sunrise, with assistance from the Edmonton Rotary Club of Alberta, Canada, donated the playground. President Iselma Martinez says that the school was on a waiting list, and their turn to get their recreational area came up.


Iselma Martinez

Iselma Martinez, President, Rotary Club Belize Sunrise

“It took us a week’s worth of being here at the school compound and installing this wonderful playground. There were a lot of obstacles in the way, but we managed to persevere. It was made possible primarily by the Rotary Club in Edmonton. They had a partner that donated the play set. So it is a collaboration between both and they chose the Rotary Club of Belize Sunrise to partner with them to make this possible. So we aided in providing material, labour, the cost of transportation and all of that.”


The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to leisure, play and participates in cultural and artistic activities. Principal Claudia Avilez speaks of how this will provide a holistic educational experience for its students.


Claudia Avilez

“Science has proven that when we engage in exercise, the brain functions best because it has rebooted. And so, the students will have that advantage to get back into the classroom. Also when children are on the playground, they need to develop certain skills. They need to develop the skills to interact with one another, of sharing, of waiting, of being patient, of taking turns. And these are also activities and skills that the students need to have inside the classroom.”


….and when it comes to safety? Principal Avilez says there’s no need for parents to worry.


Claudia Avilez

“We as teachers here and the administrative team have revisited guidelines that we have been introducing to our students. So when the students get the chance to play, the teachers will have already engaged them in some of the protocols that should be followed when they are on play.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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