Volunteers expand West Bay primary school

| 26/05/2010

(CNS): John A. Cumber Primary School, which has the largest number of pupils of any of the Cayman Islands primary schools, has been extended by some 3,500 sq ft as a result of a voluntary expansion project to its classrooms. The school had originally been built to accommodate roughly 300 students – it now has 514 enrolled. Education Minister Rolston Anglin said the expansion was more than welcome. “These classrooms were built years ago, and we’ve completely outgrown their capacity,” he said. “When I attended John A. Cumber, classes ranged from 12-18 students. Now that number has almost doubled.”

 
The minster said the project couldn’t have come at a better time. “Given the government’s mandate to cut costs, the savings in labour means that we will deliver this project significantly under-budget,” he added.
 
The expansion was undertaken by volunteers associated with the Miles Ahead: Do Something World-Cayman Festival.
 
John A. Cumber’s two-phase expansion project is scheduled for completion this summer this first part added outer walls and electrical installations, while the next phase, to be completed after school closes for the summer, includes demolishing existing concrete walls. 
 
Principal Joseph Wallace thanked the volunteers and said the 3,500 sq ft was fantastic and “totally unexpected, but absolutely appreciated.”
 
Anglin said government was grateful for the partnership. “It’s allowing us to take a project forward in a way that also highlights the traditional service nature of the church and strengthens community involvement in education,” he added
 
Shifting from building classrooms to building healthy children, the volunteer team’s medical professionals also spoke with the young students about their diets, diabetes prevention, hypertension, and lifestyle choices.
 
“We chose these topics because data released by the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority last September showed that childhood obesity is a growing problem in the Cayman Islands,” Medical Team Chief Joshua Kirby explained. “In fact, the findings showed that one in every five children ages 11-14 is overweight.”
 
During the seminars a nurse on the team used felt boards to present diet information and discussed ways to address hypertension. A diabetes expert presented blood glucose sticks, showed the children how they worked, and how sugar flows through the body. Another team led a discussion on abstinence and healthy lifestyle choices.
 
The Do Something World initiative was founded by pastor and author Miles McPherson, and brought to Cayman by the Cayman Islands Ministers Association. During each campaign Miles Ahead partners with business, civic and church leaders to find sustainable solutions to community problems, by harnessing the life-changing power of volunteerism.          
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