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Kisses from Kestrel Proud to Support the Jason Roberts Foundation

Kisses from Kestrel Proud to Support the Jason Roberts Foundation

9 years ago

Report on Digicel PECSN Programme October 2014

The Jason Roberts Foundation Special Education trip to Grenada at the end of October, sponsored by Digicel Grenada, was slightly longer than usual, giving coaches and staff the opportunity to visit Carriacou for the first time in this capacity.

The group were greeted by Reuben Patrice, Principal of Petite Martinique R.C. School and received a warm welcome from teachers, students and their parents. Thanks to the continued generous support of Kestrel Liner Agencies, who ensured the shipment of sporting equipment including golf bags and clubs along with computer equipment, arrived in Grenada in time for the start of the programme,  the school’s football team were delighted to receive kit – including shorts and shoes – along with some balls, to aid them in their future training and games.

The Foundation team included Otis Roberts – CEO of the Foundation; Rob Burton - a specialist disability football coach and Deputy Chief Officer at West London disability charity DASH; business owner Danny Steel – who raised money to cover his trip to Grenada, as he had heard about the programme and was keen to get involved and “give something back”; Cae Menai Davis – one of the founders of The Golf Trust - which was set up to highlight and develop the inclusive values of golf; and Andre Patterson – chair of the JRF Trustees in Grenada.

During their visit to Carriacou, the team delivered activities for the students of Petite Martinique School including golf and football at the local recreation ground, and the two day trip rounded off with the Foundation team participating in the opening ceremony of the primary school football competition, with students from the Hillsborough and the Harvey-Vale Government schools participating in.

At the request of parents of the students of the Special Education Needs Schools, they had the opportunity to speak with the team, and the coaches offered advice to the parents on ways to engage their child in physical activities, at home.

The following week kicked off with a visit to The Limes School on Monday, aided by the arrival of Ross Macdonald, Head Teacher of Meadow High School in Hillingdon – one of the UK’s largest schools for special educational needs, and his IT technician – Dale Costick, who was there to install the interactive whiteboards, overhead projectors and computers, which have been kindly donated by Ross and his school. During his time in Grenada, Dale ensured that all of the equipment was installed correctly in each of the schools, and the teachers were shown how to use and make best use of the technology. Ross took the opportunity of this latest visit to the Island, to take time with each of the Head Teachers to talk through the options around curriculum design, planning and assessment ideas with them.

Former professional footballer and Chair of the Foundation – Jason Roberts, met with Education officials and teachers before taking part in the sporting activities and coaching sessions with the students, alongside volunteer Kevin from St George’s University.

On Tuesday the team travelled to St Andrew’s School in Grenville and whilst the students participated in the sporting activities, Dale was busy installing the equipment into the classrooms – much to the delight of the teachers, and the excitement of the children, and Ross held strategy sessions with the Head Teacher and selected staff.

On Wednesday teachers and students from Victoria School welcomed the Foundation team back and the children enjoyed a full morning of activities outside whilst teachers met with Ross and the equipment was set up in the classrooms.

After visiting with the Minister of Education – Hon. Anthony Boatswain, and with TV appearances to talk about the visit and to raise awareness of the Foundation’s continued work with the Special Education Needs Schools in Grenada, the team took the afternoon off, for a well-earned rest in the Caribbean sunshine.

On Friday the Foundation, in partnership with the Grenada Down Syndrome Society, organised a Fun Day where children from all three schools were transported to St George’s University Campus, to take part in all of the activities on offer – including golf; basketball; and football as well as crafts; face painting and interaction with animals. At the end of a busy and enjoyable day the children were presented with medals by the Foundation staff and coaches who were sad to say goodbye, before the children departed back to their respective schools.

The Foundation extends special thanks to everyone who made this wonderful trip possible, and who continue to support the Physical Education for Children with Special Needs (PECSN) Programme, including: Digicel – the lead Sponsor of the programme; the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development – with particular thanks to Ruth Elizabeth Rouse – Permanent Secretary; Grenada Down Syndrome Society; St. George’s University; True Blue Bay Resort; the Principals, teachers, students and parents of each of the schools involved in the programme; the coaches and volunteers who give their time, energy and commitment to the programme; to Ross Macdonald and his school – for his time, knowledge and experience, and for all of the invaluable equipment which they have kindly donated; and Dale for his expertise in installing the equipment.

The team look forward to another productive and rewarding trip in the New Year.

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