School warden spreading love and care
Port Maria, St Mary:
For more than a decade, Phillip Brown, a school warden at Port Maria Primary in St Mary, has been ensuring that students cross the busy roadway safely to get to school.
Brown, who hails from Paggee in Port Maria, carries out his duties five days per week, without any sign of complacency, in ensuring that the lives of approximately 500 students are protected from the likelihood of being hit by vehicular traffic.
"I work from Monday to Friday and I am always on time," said Brown.
"I love my job and I am passionate about children. I see myself as the father of all these children, who are innocent, playful, friendly, and full of laughter. Since my first day on the job, I developed an excellent relationship with students and teachers, which has got better over the years. Children are a rare treasure and they are in dire need of guidance and protection. I am merely playing my part in spreading the love," Brown added.
According to him, for 16 year he has been conducting warden duties at the school, which has allowed him to develop a relationship of trust among school administrators, parents, and other community members, who continue to support him in not only his designated role, but also as a caregiver and mentor.
"The school has a canteen where warm meals are provided daily. But as children, there are times when they want something else other than what is cooked at the school. So I would go out to the gate during lunchtime to buy food (mainly fried chicken and chips) from vendors who operate outside the school's perimeter fence. One has to understand that children have choices," Brown said.
But while the 56-year-old concentrates mainly on his assigned duties, he has also gone beyond the call of duty by assisting students with lunch money and bus fare on a daily basis.
"Everything I do is done out of love for these children. It comes natural and it leaves me with a good feeling, knowing that I am able to make these children smile and laugh. I also have four grandchildren attending this school. I sit with the boys and I speak to them about the need to work and study hard in school, as education is important going forward. Oftentimes during our chat, the girls drop by and they, too, are mentored. I sleep well at night knowing that I was able to touch the life of a child," Brown said.
Recently, during a visit to the school, Brown was seen handing out box lunches to students, while taking time out to listen to and also address a dispute among a group of boys, who were obviously trying to settle an argument about the role of the police.