Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Anchovy High going the extra mile with COVID-19 assistance

Published:Sunday | May 17, 2020 | 8:28 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

ANCHOVY HIGH School in St James is seeking corporate assistance to support its students who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and for whom the school has, within the past week, provided 30 food packages prepared from its own tuck shop and canteen resources.

On April 29, the students and their parents were invited to the school to receive care packages, which included tinned foods, snacks, tissues and soaps, and chickens from the school’s freezer, along with hot meals prepared on-site. Twenty-six of the school’s ancillary workers also received packages.

Anchovy High’s principal, Lavern Stewart, said the packages were prepared to assist students whose families would not have the finances to sustain themselves amid the restrictions of the pandemic.

“We have a number of students who are not on PATH [Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education] although they are very needy students, so they wouldn’t benefit from what the Government would have done for PATH beneficiaries. Because of that, we decided we wanted to do something for those students, for them to get some kind of benefit,” Stewart explained.

“On a normal basis at the school, we would look out for these children, giving them lunch, and sometimes bus fare, and all those monies would come from the teachers’ pockets. So we knew they (the students) would be disadvantaged in this particular period,” the principal added.

The provision of food packages will continue over the next few weeks, with 50 students to be targeted as recipients. In addition, Stewart wants to get resources available for 143 students who have been unable to access their lessons online due to a lack of smartphones.

“We want to reach out to 50 students (for food package distribution), but we’re not sure if we’ll have resources to stretch to that number of students. I have started writing letters to corporate entities in Montego Bay to see if they would be willing to come on board to assist us in helping those students, because it would make things a little easier for us,” said Stewart.

“I also have 143 students who have no devices at all, and since March 12, they have not been able to access anything that we’ve been doing online. I have written to FLOW, asking if they could give us some devices or to provide them at a discounted price. Hopefully, we can get a few devices in the hands of these marginalised kids so they can benefit from the lessons that have been taking place online.”