In 2018, Juliana Snelling and other volunteers came together to improve public education in Bermuda through providing them with better resources, among other things. Thus, the Support Public Schools organization was formed.
This year, Support Public Schools donated a total of $50 thousand worth of supplies to P1 and P4 students at 18 public primary schools across the island. The supplies include everything from analog clocks to basketball hoops to books and toys, and everything in between.
“ It is absolutely crucial that our students [and teachers] have the instructional resources they need to be our future leaders,” Ms. Snelling said. “ We all know the gap between private schools, where parents can oftentimes afford adequate school supplies, but teachers within the public system often cannot dig into their pockets. At SPS, we aim to give parents and teachers opportunities and resources to help narrow that gap and improve students’ lives in the classroom.”
According to Ms. Snelling, the sincere gratitude that she and SPS as a whole receives from members of the community is truly humbling. She recalls one student, whose life was changed by their donations and who eventually received a scholarship to play the violin, all because he saw people who believed in him and in what he could accomplish.
She would like to sincerely thank all of SPS’ sponsors, including Butterfield Bank, who have donated $25 thousand every year since they got started. Other sponsors for this year’s drive include The Greene family, Bowring Marsh, Argus insurance, Enstar Ltd., the Bermuda Public Services Union and the Prison Officers’ Association, to name a few.
“ We also receive lots of second-hand office supplies from Argus, Conyers, Beesmont, Freisenbruch Meyer and Gorham’s,” she said. “ We ask to please keep this going, because education must keep going.”
According to Heron Bay Primary principal Francine Mcmahon, the supplies that were donated will certainly enhance the classroom experience for both the teachers and students.
“ One thing that we find very helpful from SPS is organization and time,” Ms. Mcmahon said. “ As simple as it may seem, organization and saving time are so meaningful. Everything is now at our fingertips, labeled and organized. Lessons can flow smoother as a result.”
According to her, the donations from SPS makes teachers feel valued and appreciated during this difficult time.
“ One teachers mentioned how the donations eliminated a lot of the stress by not having to go and purchase every little thing,” Ms. Mcmahon explained. “ When we run out of supplies provided to us by the Ministry of Education, teachers go and buy them themselves. Being able
to laminate a lot of the learning materials [also thanks to SPS’ donations] also relieved some stress for us, because it allowed our students to enjoy learning again.”
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