Bull Savannah school stages successful Christmas celebration - Teachers, sponsors help to bring virtual delight to students
Despite not being able to do face-to-face teaching since March, the staff at the infant department at the Bull Savannah Primary and Infant School in Bull Savannah, St Elizabeth, found a creative way to stage their annual Christmas celebration last Wednesday, much to the delight of the students.
The planning and execution of the virtual event were spearheaded by Shelly Ann Rowe, head of the infant department, alongside fellow staff members Dorret Francis, Tashana Dixon, Juliet Belinfanti, Deniese Walker Shanae Dyer, Trudy Ann Lewis, Doreen Brooks, and Noreen Powell-Alveranga. They formulated a plan to do a virtual celebration, which they successfully pulled off.
“Despite the pandemic and the challenges it posed, the department received many Christmas miracles with an overflow of blessing as we secured sponsorships both locally and internationally for all 92 students,” said Rowe. “This year’s sponsors included the surrounding business community, community churches, college students living in the USA, teachers from the primary department, past school friends, present and past students. All these sponsors partnered with us to achieve one main goal – bringing joy to all the students.”
The staff ensured the customary participation of the students by having them record various talent pieces, which were posted online so that the other students, parents, and the various sponsors could share in the experience.
“With classes being online and the students at home, we encouraged those who wished to participate to work together with their parents under our guidance on their Christmas items, which would be pre-recorded and sent in to create a compilation,” noted Rowe. “These Christmas performances were compiled as one big package, along with the gift-giving exercise and uploaded to the school’s YouTube channel. https://youtube.com/channel/UCYKp5LdfDtyYNDr0FbyocXQ.”
“The donations came pouring in and we kept adding to the students’ gift bags. All students were provided with toys, school supplies and care packages. The different classes were given special times to visit the school to collect their gifts. All COVID-19 related protocols were observed, which included temperature checks, the wearing of masks and the hand sanitising of students when they entered the school grounds, social distancing, and no more than 15 persons were gathered at once,” added Rowe.
Odane Bailey of Print MasterJa, which is based in Junction, also in St Elizabeth, said he was delighted to be on board as a sponsor to serve a worthy cause.
“We chose to assist this worthy cause during the pandemic to ensure that all or even most of the students have a wonderful time this Christmas,” said Bailey.
Janet Dyer, who was instrumental in securing international sponsorships, was equally elated that she was able to play a part in bringing joy to the children.
“The individuals and companies that sponsored on my behalf decided to do so this time of the year because going through this pandemic, they thought it would be a good thing to put a smile on the faces of all the children,” said Dyer. “Most of the sponsors were either past students or they grew up in the Bull Savannah community and wanted to give back.”
“The celebration was a success and we truly want to extend a huge thank you to all our sponsors for assisting us to accomplish this implausible idea which placed warm smiles on the faces of our students,” added Dyer.
THE LIST Of SPONSORS INCLUDED:
• Devoted Medical Complex
• G. A. Gordon Rentals
• JGS Jewellery Store
• Krishna’s Sports Bar
• Omega Phi Kappa
• Fran-Al Mini Mart
• House of Smiles Dental Care
• Willie’s Discount Center
• Tiles R Us
• Chapter 5 Bookshop & Gift Center
• Dream Destinations Travel Agency
• Biggs Fashion
• Kelly Shipping and Delivery
• Fiwi Design
• Grego’s Seafood Bar and Grill
• Cetany Holness (Member of Parliament)
• Star Level Music
• Sure Financial Service
• Cl3ard Shipping
• Whyte’s Auto
• Milton Smith
• Superior Events and Concepts Ltd
• Javone Carpenter
• Print Masterja
• Selma Alabama Links Inc
• Alicia Roye Chestnut and Prince Chestnut, Chestnut Law, Selma, Alabama
• Mauvy Lewis, Sandra Saunders, Laurel Thompson, Treka Lewis, Cheraugh Myers, Heavy’s Bar and Grill, Junction Guest House, Members of the Bull Savannah SDA, St Aidan Anglican and Bull Savannah Church of God.