Saint Lucia
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New Playground and Gazebo at Gros Islet Primary to Enhance Learning Environment

Much needed upgrades to the Gros Islet Primary School
Much needed upgrades to the Gros Islet Primary School

MORE than 300 students and staff at Gros Islet Primary School welcomed a much-needed upgrade to their learning environment recently with the construction of a playground and a (dimension of the gazebo) gazebo courtesy of the Sandals Foundation and Island Routes. The funds were raised through Island Routes/Sandals Foundation weekly tour to the Gros Islet Friday Night Street Party which allows guests to experience authentic culture while also supporting the local community.

Speaking at a handover ceremony recently, Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at Sandals Foundation, shared that the improvements will encourage student play and socialization while also serving as an outdoor learning space that will facilitate classes.

“At Sandals Foundation we strive to help children develop holistically, so we want to create environments where they can learn, grow, and thrive,” Clarke explained.

She continued, “We recognize the importance of play in students’ cognitive and overall holistic development so it is our hope that with the addition of the playground and gazebo, students will have a more engaged learning environment that will foster play, socialization, and promote meaningful learning experiences which are critical components in their educational and personal development. It will also facilitate them being active which will contribute to their overall health and well-being.”

Mrs. Merlina Joseph-Charles, Principal of the Gros Islet Primary School, also noted that the enhanced learning environment has the benefit of improving desirable behaviour and attitude so she is expecting some positive outcomes.

Much needed upgrades to the Gros Islet Primary School
Much needed upgrades to the Gros Islet Primary School

These resources are also expected to benefit teachers, who will find it easier and more enjoyable to incorporate time for play in the curriculum and teach students in the outdoor learning space.

“When the children use the playground, I hope they will live the five “H”s – Healthy, honest, happy, helpful and humble. I know that the children will be so thrilled when they are outdoors, especially because they can use the space for any and everything from science to mathematics.  As to the gazebo, they will use it for reading and to develop their imaginations.” She went on to note that teachers themselves would use it to recharge their batteries.

This is one of many projects implemented by the Sandals Foundation through its partnership with Island Routes, which allows guests to experience the best of the Caribbean while giving back and helping to strengthen infrastructure and provide much-needed resources to a number of schools across the island.