The Archdiocese of Port of Spain Archbishop’s Appeal is inviting Catholics to support a programme to improve the education experience of RC primary school children.
The project, ‘The Archdiocese of Trinidad and Tobago Catholic Education Plan: Mitigating the effects of socio-economic development challenges through education’ aims to provide high quality education for children in the RC schools.
Focus areas are: human resource enhancements—Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) staffing, leadership programmes, teacher professional development, parish ministry (assess students’ readiness), provision of curriculum and other resources and upgrade of school facilities. Chief Executive Officer of the CEBM Sharon Mangroo said the plan seeks to establish “strong home, school, church, and community partnerships”.
The CEBM will further collaborate with archdiocesan departments, and others. It has already begun working with the Archdiocesan Family Life, Evangelization, Youth and Catechetical Commissions. Mangroo said there were children attending school who were not yet ready for the learning experience. They have not developed educationally and achieved education milestones because of varied reasons including poor nutrition and their safety needs not being met.
The proposed interventions will facilitate: early screening and assessment of students for learning disabilities, assess students’ readiness and develop strategies to fill gaps with specific attention to nutrition (school meals), emotional and social (directed developmental activities), stimulating school environment, engagement of parents/guardians in school activities, encouraging parent/guardian participation in Archdiocesan parenting programmes, sourcing and engaging student support services.
Ten schools have been identified for action in the first instance: Diego Martin Girls’ and Boys’ RC, Petit Valley Girls’ and Boys’ RC, Sacred Heart Girls’ and Boys’ RC, Mucurapo Girls’ and Boys’ RC, St Rose’s Girls’ RC, and Rosary Boys’ RC.
Jenny Lee of Archbishop’s Appeal said, “We are looking to raise $21 million over the three-year period.”
A flyer is being distributed throughout the Archdiocese inviting patrons to ‘Light the Way for Our Children’s Future’. “Our collective efforts are needed to help make the critical difference with their education, their lives, and their future,” it stated. “Young people are significantly impacted by this unique economic and social situation which our country is facing.”
A candlewax seal attached to the flyer is to be sent back with the donation by November 20. All candlewax received will be melted to create six large candles for the six vicariates, representing the united community resolved to build a brighter future for the children.
Donors are asked to give a “minimum” offering cash or cheque of $100. Mass will be celebrated January 1, Solemnity of Mary and World Day of Peace. The public is invited to share their written prayer intention which will be offered up at the Mass when the candles are lighted. —LPG