Bridget Sandals puts pep in step of students with laptop donation
Students and parents expressed gratitude on Tuesday as they received laptops that will help close the deficit on online learning amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
At the launch of its ‘Children are our Future’ initiative in support of Jamaican youth in need, Bridget Sandals handed over laptops to 17 students from various schools across the island.
Bridget Sandals Foundation officer Sherine Spencer said the brand has been around for more than 30 years, and has always donated to worthy causes and provided financial support to young people.
“We believe this will increase the academic success of these students and, ultimately, their respective schools. Many of our students today are at the primary level, and we at Bridget Sandals are expecting that these devices will serve them up to the secondary level,” Spencer said.
Monica Cleary, mother of a 10th-grader at Holy Trinity High School, told The Gleaner that the laptop will benefit him a “great deal”.
“Things were so hard in the pandemic and I couldn’t afford a tablet or a laptop. It was on and off for him with classes because he didn’t have a device to use. I am so grateful that his teacher acknowledged his needs,” Cleary said, adding that her son has returned to face-to-face classes for a few days each week.
Student of Lowe River Primary and Junior High School, Samonie Buckle, said her mother’s phone was the means by which she accessed education before physical classes resumed.
“Online classes were challenging, but, thanks be to God, I’ve gotten through it. I think my attendance and participation will improve if we are to return online because I have a device of my own,” the 11-year-old Trelawny student said.
Alexia Robinson tried her best to learn, despite the challenges of a malfunctioning tablet and limited Internet connectivity.
Robinson, who attends Sturge Town Primary and Infant School in St Ann, told The Gleaner that she aspires to become a police officer with a strong educational foundation.
Her father, Andre Robinson, extended his gratitude to the Bridget Sandals Foundation for assisting his child.
“She’s in grade five, preparing for PEP exams, and I hope that this laptop will really help, as it has removed one barrier to accessing education,” Robinson said.
Sarai Edwards, a student of Maxfield Park Primary School, said she longed for face-to-face classes to resume.
“I really needed this laptop for online school because I was missing out on lessons, and I also didn’t get to see my teachers or my friends for a long time,” Edwards said, as she expressed thanks to the donors.
Meanwhile, guest speaker, attorney Able Don Foote, said it is critical to harness the next generation through mentorship.
“They always say it takes the wisdom of the elder and the spirit of the youth to create something magical and great,” Foote said, as he urged them to draw close to someone who inspires them.
The attorney also reminded the recipients of their innate potential and the importance of attaining an education.