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The Sunshine School
PO Box 90 BQ
Bequia
St Vincent and the Grenadines
West Indies

Tel: 784-457-3794

sunshine@vincysurf.com







OUR PEOPLE




STUDENTS

Currently the School caters to a maximum of thirty students (30), ranging in age from five to twenty years. These children exhibit learning issues caused by a variety of physical, behavioural or mental challenges. Students are referred to the Sunshine School by parents or guardians who have a basic desire to see their child’s special learning needs met; or by teachers from other schools, health personnel or interested individuals in the community.

Based on evaluation, compatibility within the school structure and available space, students are enrolled into the school. Parental involvement is strongly encouraged and is an extremely important aspect of integrating the students into the mainstream.

Students take part in annual activities organized by the School for Children with Special Needs Kingstown – SCSNK (www.specialneedssvg.org), Special Olympics SVG (www.sosvg.org), and by the Association for Persons with disAbilities – ASPD (nspwd@vincysurf.com).Some students are returned to the primary system if they have improved enough and are within the age limit for the primary system. There are several former students currently attending High School and who are performing on par with their peers. Several other students have successfully completed the programme and are well integrated into the community. In 2013 six boys entered high school and one girl completed the programme. In 2014 three boys wrote and passed the CPEA (Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment) Exam making the Sunshine School one of ten schools in SVG to obtain 100% pass rate. Of the almost 2000 students writing the exam in SVG that year one of our boys placed ahead of almost 800 other students. One girl has successfully written and passed English Language and Science .at the CCSLC (Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence) Exam (Grade 9 level), administered by CXC. This year she is doing Mathematics and Social Studies.




STAFF
Principal:

After twenty five years at the Sunshine School, Camille Jacobs (Pinky) retired from the government service in 2013. At the request of the Board of Directors, she continued for another two year. This year however Camille finally “retires from active duty”. Mrs. Joanna Stowe will replace her as head teacher.


Helen Ashton

Hellen started working at the Sunshine School in 1996 and sixteen years later, Helen is still here. Needless to say, a lot more mature, confident and experienced.


Iyandal Williams

In 2003 Iyandal started on the YES (Youth Empowerment Service) programme, where government sends young people to various work places to learn work ethics and have on the job training. She performed so well that she was requested for a second year. Finally she was maintained as a permanent member of staff.

In 2008 she successfully completed a six month training programme in pre-school education which helped to prepare her to work with the younger students.


Tracey Frederick

Tracey also started on the government YES programme in 2010. She performed well and was requested for a second year. She was also retained as a permanent member of staff. In addition to working with a group of students she is also responsible for the sewing programme.


Delnora Andrews

Delnora our school cook joined the staff in 2003 and continues to prepare delicious and nutritious lunches. She also teaches students how to prepare meals and to take care of the kitchen generally.


Levan Hazel

Levan joined the staff in 2000, when the school moved into the new building. He was on a part time basis until 2012 when he became fulltime. He is responsible for the workshop and in addition to teaching students woodworking skills; he also acts a maintenance man when needed.



VOLUNTEERS

The Sunshine School encourages volunteers to join the efforts of helping our students learn. We had the good fortune of having several people who have made a significant impact over the years. Persons living on Bequia or just visiting the island for extended periods are invited to assist.

Several repeat visitors to Bequia continue to volunteer annually for periods ranging from a couple weeks to several months. These volunteers assist in a variety of areas ranging from taking a disruptive child for a walk, helping in the classroom or teaching woodwork or music. The range of assistance could be endless but the key is to utilize the expertise of the volunteer and maximize the teaching potential.

In 2014 & 2015 Ron Cutajar –“Mr. Ron” worked with several boys in the wood work shop. Jackie Reno (Jackie #1), Jackie West (Jackie #2), Elizabeth Duncombe (Elizabeth #2) have been periodic in recent years. Elizabeth Zook (Elizabeth #1) visited for the second year teaching students to play the recorder and helping generally for about three months.


Some Volunteers who made a BIG Impression

Bill Livingston

One person in particular who stands out is Bill Livingston. “Uncle Bill” to everyone visited annually with his wife Jeannie for several years. When they got tired of the sea and the winters back home, they stayed on Bequia for four to six months each year. Even after Jeannie passed away in 2006, Uncle Bill continued to come. He helped the workshop evolve, soliciting donations from home for equipment and supplies for the shop. He worked daily with students, teaching them proper use of the woodworking tools and various techniques to create functional and whimsical items. Unfortunately because of health reason Uncle Bill is no longer able to volunteer. Uncle Bill has contributed significantly to the school in time and material for about fifteen years.


Erica Ouchi & Nobuhito Nakaoka

Erica, a Japanese volunteer completed a two year assignment from 2006 – 2008. She worked as a counselor but helped in several other areas including sewing and crafts. Prior to that, another Japanese volunteer, Nobuhito (Nobi) Nakaoka was with us from 2004 – 2005 and taught ceramics.


Gerry and Sandra Bird

Gerry and Sandra Bird volunteered periodically throughout the year 2001-2002 when they took a sabbatical from work and from the Bequia Mission in Canada. Gerry helped to set up the workshop with donations of tools and material from the Bequia Mission. Sandra helped in various areas and activities throughout the school.


Cristina Felber (Dinni)

Cristina left her home in Switzerland to volunteer and teach “full time” at the Sunshine School for one year (2009 – 2010). She was a valuable asset to the school and contributed significantly to the growth of the school and the children. She was not just a volunteer; she was an unpaid member of staff.

Tony Becks an Australian sailor visited for brief periods in 2012. He was an extremely helpful handyman and assisted in many ways. On one occasion he worked for almost an entire day securing windows after an attempted burglary.

To each and every volunteer we offer our sincerest “thank you”. We hope that you had a good experience at the Sunshine School and we look forward to seeing you again.



BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Since the inception of the Sunshine School, there has been a Board of Directors consisting of volunteers residing on Bequia. Potential members are screened and selected based on their ability and willingness to participate. To maintain proper office positions and dedicated seats, the Board holds elections annually.

Monthly meetings are held throughout the year with agendas covering school business, development and funding. It is the responsibility of the Board to raise the funds necessary to keep the school running efficiently.


The Officers are:

President: Dr.Greg Thomas

Vice President: Beverly Neely

Secretary: Tom Donoghue

Treasurer: Suzanne Gabriel

Members

Camille JacobsElaine OllivierreJohn Corbett
Leisa OllivierreKerry OllivierreDonaldson Quashie


Some past members who have made a significant contribution to the Board and to the Sunshine School are:

Rev. Ron Armstrong (1982 – 1994)
June Armstrong (1982 – 1997)
Elen Schwartz (1982 - 2011)
Edna Warburton (2000 - 2006)
Mariann Palmborg (2001 – 2008)
Anne Martindale (2003 - 2013)
Lisa Hunnicutt (2006 - 2011)

PTA

There is a vibrant and functioning PTA. The group usually meets monthly during the school term to discuss issues relating to students’ performance, improving programmes as well as assisting with fundraising activities.


DONORS & DONATIONS

The Sunshine School depends on the generosity of friends and well wishers to keep the school running efficiently. We appreciate the friends who continue year after year to support the fund raising events or to donate directly to the school funds. To those persons who contribute many hours sorting material or helping to sell items at the events we appreciate and thank you.

The barrels of food and school supplies sent annually by the BSOT; the annual gifts from Bequia Mission; the Birthday treats for students; the paying of a teacher’s salary; the fresh vegetable donated by Dorris each week and so much more are worth a mention.

Thank you to each and every individual and organization that has donated in the past and continue to donate to our cause. Every donation, large or small, monetary or material, time volunteered or items sent anonymously is key to the success of the school. You all help to keep the school running efficiently. THANK YOU!!