March 17, 2016
OCHO RIOS, St Mary:
The late Douglas and Linda Walker would be proud of their daughter, retired educator and leadership instructor, Glenda Erskine, and her siblings.
Inspired by their parents, who were advocates of education, the siblings some years ago launched a foundation in their names, and last month were able to make a significant financial contribution and other upgrades to the Watford Hill Primary School in Hanover.
Erskine, who now resides in Atlanta, Georgia travelled to the school for the presentation and told the audience in her remarks, “My siblings and I felt compelled to give back to our alma mater and we consider this to the most effective way to do so.”
While not disclosing the amount, Erskine said the contribution would be a major boost to the school’s curriculum.
She said the idea to launch a foundation in their parents’ names was hatched a decade ago after she and her siblings decided that something tangible must be done for Watford Primary in their memory, as they were advocates of education and avid supporters of the school.
The vision is now realised, and apart from the financial assistance, the school is also benefiting from the provision of a remedial math specialist and a language arts teacher, along with hands-on teaching material and visual aids.
“Most importantly, however, is the breakfast canteen, which has been added to provide hot breakfast for children who are at a disadvantage,” she pointed out. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is very hard for hungry children to concentrate.”
Erskine said the breakfast canteen continues to meet a need and may one day be extended to include lunches.
Having contributed so much, Erskine is now appealing to the community to build a room that can be used as a resource centre.
Principal Jason Richardson was pleased with the assistance and thanked Erskine for what he described as a well-needed contribution.
Richardson noted that the school has been showing significant improvement in literacy and numeracy examinations.
Erskine is the wife of Dr Noel Erskine, historian and professor of theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Last month, he received the community’s Black History Month Award for authoring 11 books on black history.