GLENMUIR HIGH School in Clarendon has formed an alliance with donors, locally and overseas, to alleviate the strain imposed on some families by the novel coronavirus.
The virus has infected over five million people worldwide, resulting in more than 300,000 deaths, and has had crippling effects on economies as businesses try to stay afloat with physical-distancing measures in place.
Dr Marsha Smalling, principal of the Glenmuir Road-based institution in May Pen, told The Gleaner that the pandemic presented a need for the school to act on its mandate of altruism. “The COVID crisis has created the need for Glenmuir to contribute to the well-being of the most vulnerable students and staff members in the form of food, toiletries, masks, and data plans.”
Smalling noted that the impact of the school’s first COVID-19 outreach in April presented the need for a re-run of the venture, which commences next week. “Last month, we were able to reach out to approximately 120 beneficiaries through the partnership of the PTA, the school, alumni and members of the May Pen business community. The gratitude exuded by the beneficiaries warmed our hearts and signalled to us that we needed to repeat the gesture, which is why we will be embarking on round two,” she said.
Smalling added: “We are grateful for the plenitude of donations from members of the teaching staff, PTA, alumni, and the business community and our main sponsors – members from the Florida chapter of the alumni association.”
The Florida chapter of the alumni association was founded in 2006 and offers scholarships to students annually. This year, students benefited from scholarships totalling US$14,000. Norman Archer, vice-president, noted that the Florida chapter has been a fervent contributor to the school’s outreach initiatives, a decision, he said, which stemmed from the school’s breakfast programme. “We didn’t know so many students weren’t able to have breakfast in the mornings, so we said we had to get on board. With corona [virus] now affecting us, it is very important to step in and assist our brothers in whatever way we can.” Archer lauded his team members who, he said, are always cooperative and willing to assist.
“This is our little way to demonstrate that Glenmuir cares,” said the principal.