|Members of SIFE team at work at Milton Lynch Primary. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
When students of the Milton Lynch Primary School return to classes after the Easter vacation, they will see a transformed playground, two newly built gazebos and repainted classrooms.
This is as a result of the combined efforts of students of the Drury University’s Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, associates of the St. Louis based Edward Jones Investments company and the Diabetes Association of Barbados.
After contacting the Association some months ago to engage in a give-back health-based project while here on vacation, six students from the university based in Missouri, accompanied by some 160 associates from the financial advisory firm arrived in Barbados last Sunday.?? Their mission was to create a more child-friendly playground at the Water Street, Christ Church boy’s school.
Director of the Drury SIFE, Sarah Montgomery, explained that they got involved in the project through the Diabetes Association of Barbados whose members were already working at the school to get the children more active and promoting healthier eating habits.
|??A new coat of paint freshens a section of classrooms. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
"We are repainting two of the school buildings, marking out permanent hopscotch areas and road tennis courts in the concrete area of the playground, planting trees and shrubs and constructing two gazebos.?? We are really excited to be a part of this and to see the community come together to help impact the school in this way," she explained.
Although some BDS $10,000 has been committed to the project by Edward Jones and other local companies, additional donations are welcomed.????????
Principal of the school, Anthony Graham, said he was pleased to see that the school was getting help in encouraging the children to play outside and be more active.??
"Multiple objectives are being met by this project.?? We have many children who are overweight and there is very little to do at lunchtime.?? It will also allow the teachers to utilise the gazebos and perhaps have some outdoor lessons.?? Right now, there is no shade in the playground except for one tree in the middle of the yard and I understand some benches are also being installed under that tree. This is part of an ongoing programme and as long as I am here it will have my full support even if it means giving up my vacation," he asserted.??
The SIFE team was in Argentina on a similar mission two weeks ago, and has also done work in Belize, Turkey, South Africa, China, India, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.