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Jul 1, 2008

Project Belize kicks off at Anglican schools in the city

Story PictureAt this time of year, schools are closed and children are enjoying their well deserved summer holidays. But this week, those between ages ten and fourteen at four Belize City Anglican schools are engaged in an uplifting programme called Project Belize. Today News Five’s Marion Ali visited one of the schools to learn more.

Marion Ali, Reporting
Saint John’s Anglican Primary on Euphrates Avenue is one of the institutions where the team of one hundred and forty volunteers from Peacework International and their local counterparts, Price Water House Coopers, are conducting camps. Because the project promotes entrepreneurship among youths, head of the delegation, Courtenay Pace, says they have consciously incorporated several business-oriented sessions.

Courtenay Pace, Organiser, Peace Work
“We have a combination of academics related to business, entrepreneurship and ethics, incorporating soccer and recreation in that as well. Also, the volunteers here are working on construction projects turning the libraries into an all purpose resource centre here at the schools. To help them learn that they can start a business, that you don’t have to have a huge business, that you don’t have to necessarily be the prime minister of the country. But you might have a hotdog stand, things like that to try and bring out their ideas.”

But while the volunteers are tapping into the young minds for business ideas, to keep the children’s attention, they have sought to make learning a fun experience.

Courtenay Pace
“In the resource centres we’ve done some construction, actually taken down walls and installing air conditioning units within those centers to make the rooms a little bit bigger and more conducive to learning, trying to make the environment bright and exciting so the kids may be very interested in learning. We’ve added some technology into the rooms, laptops that the teachers can utilize to use powerpoint instruction, visual aids on the screen so that the kids can actually learn to use some of the new technology in the school. So the teachers are sort of gaining resources for themselves to use in the classroom. Right behind me is the major playing field at the school so we’ve been using this field for soccer. Everybody’s aware of all the rain we’ve had over the last few days so the field got pretty much destroyed. So we have a grader out here trying to change the level of it and drain the water off.”

School Principal at Saint John’s Anglican, Patricia Johnson, welcomes the idea and the assistance.

Marion Ali
“Before now how did you used to carry on those lessons without…?”

Patricia Johnson, Principal, Saint John’s Anglican Primary
“They were mainly in the classroom. They were mainly but now they would go up here and there would be Bunsen burners, there would be things that they will need to make the lesson more enhancing and provide first hand experience.”

Marion Ali
“So this will carry you all a long way.”

Patricia Johnson
“It will carry us a long way and then they had also in addition to that agreed to fill the school yard. This is much needed because of the weather and the condition of the ground. So we are very, very grateful for whatever was given to us.”

The other schools benefiting from the project are Queen’s Square Anglican, Queen Street Baptist and All Saints Anglican. Marion Ali for News Five.

The cost of carrying out the project at all four schools amounts to approximately two hundred thousand dollars.

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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