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‘Priests Can Cook’ to enhance school environment

Catholic schools today, like other schools, need to respond to challenges from social factors beyond the school compound which affect the child’s ability to learn.

‘Priests Can Cook’ scheduled for Friday coming 6.30 p.m. at St John’s Ambulance Hall, will raise funds for Our Lady of Laventille, Diego Martin Boys’, Petit Valley Boys’ and La Romaine RC schools. These funds will be used to create a “nurturing” environment through repairs/physical improvements and supporting the pupils, their parents and teachers of these schools via social programmes.

Our Lady of Laventille is in need of a general upgrade of washrooms and classrooms, and painting. Security is also an issue with gang violence causing concern.

At Diego Boys’ RC many pupils have lost fathers due to crime in the community or nationwide. To respond to “negative social factors” hindering the pupils’ learning, the principal and staff will create more of an environment that encompasses the Catholic ethos, devotion and love for the Catholic faith, expanding the Homework Centre, and  enlarge Fathers Group, providing a greater social support system for pupils in need.

Petit Valley Boys’ needs resources to support its religious education programme and education programme for parents. The intent is to have expanded learning experiences for pupils through introduction to “different environments” and participation in co-curricular activities. The school also wants to introduce mentorship for pupils.

La Romaine RC is challenged by socio-economic factors– a low-income community with low academic expectations, a chaotic environment in which pupils live, and negative influences which make it difficult for them to discern right from wrong. The school will introduce interventions that provide expanded learning opportunities, mentoring, and parent education.

Speaking at the August 29 launch of ‘Priests Can Cook’ at Archbishop’s House, Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) Sharon Mangroo said, “We have quite a number of them [pupils] that come from family structures that don’t really help and they need to learn mechanisms for coping; we have a number of students who are dealing with loss on a daily basis. We have quite a few who lack basic needs are not taken care of.”

Patrons of ‘Priests Can Cook’ will be treated to a variety of dishes and desserts and can look forward to dishes prepared on the spot by Fr Kenneth Assing of Blanchisseuse parish and Fr Elton Letang CSsR of Barataria/El Socorro parish. Tickets cost $250 and are available at all parish offices and at Archbishop’s House. Guests can win a number of attractive door prizes including airline tickets for two to Barbados on Caribbean Airlines. Secure parking is available.