Sandals Foundation gives to Mount Airy All-Age
The Christmas season came with some extras at the Mount Airy All-Age School in Westmoreland this year as the Sandals Foundation not only treated more than 500 students to toys and refreshments, but also handed over well-needed baking supplies to the 4H Club and facilitated a hygiene and pastry workshop.
The school, which is one of 26 across the Caribbean adopted by the philanthropic organisation, has a vibrant 4H Club; however, it has faced constant struggles resulting from a lack of equipment. In 2012, the Sandals Foundation gifted a gas stove to the school as club members used a coal stove to prepare jams, puddings, cakes and other treats. The school later highlighted the need for additional baking apparatus, as the only tools available to the students were loaned weekly from the home of club leader, teacher Maxine Russell. To remedy this situation, the foundation stepped in and donated in excess of $50,000 worth of baking supplies to the institution.
"We are extremely grateful for this generous donation and the support that the Sandals Foundation always offers to our school," stated an ecstatic Russell. "It will certainly make life much easier and help us to ensure that the children receive hands-on training in several capacities." She said they will also use the baked goods to raise funds to develop other core areas such as farming, and sewing.
Following on the heels of the donation, the students also had the opportunity to participate in a hygiene, safety and pastry session led by Sandals Resorts management trainees Maxine Pierre and Julianna Musgrove. At the start of the three-hour activity, each child received a Sandals Foundation Honorary Little Baker badge and was taught a hand-washing song. They were later given detailed information on hygiene and safety, engaging in related activities. The students were also divided into groups where they identified baking ingredients using interactive wall charts and were guided in baking candy cane chocolate chip cookies.
hygiene and pastry workshop
"The kids were very enthusiastic about the hygiene and pastry workshop and we hope that they will be able to apply what they have learnt throughout their lives and share the information with their family members as well," said Pierre. "The Sandals Foundation is happy to have been a part of the process of nurturing these life skills that they can use when they go off to high school, college or even venture into entrepreneurship." Russell added that the activity was timely as the students do not always get an opportunity to revisit the fundamentals of hygiene and safety. Each participant left the session with a gift bag of cookies and candy canes. Plans are now being made for aprons to be donated to the school.
Each year, the Sandals Foundation supports thousands of students in educational facilities throughout the Caribbean community, ensuring as many children, youth and adults as possible have the educational opportunities they need to reach their full potential.