Holy Cross Anglican Primary School officially opened on Monday, September 4th at 8:30am. There was not one stick of furniture in the school; it was all coming 'manana', for the past several weeks! Bishop Philip Wright joined Principal and Infant I teacher, Ms. Sharon Hazel, teachers, Miss Monica Standard I, Miss Germaine Infant II, Miss Laura ESL and a Canadian volunteer, Heather Leslie who is our school nurse for the next 6 weeks. Together they welcomed almost 80 students and their parents to the first day of school.
Bishop Wright blessed the temporary classrooms and the students and, school was officially open. Miraculously we made it through the week and not one child fell into the mucky water! Even more little ones showed up for school accompanied by grateful parents - 'gracias por la escuela!', 'thank you for taking my child', heard often.
This afternoon I listened to the Infant I children sing 'Jesus Loves Me' while gazing at the mounds of garbage (land fill?), mud and water surrounding our little classrooms, I knew that by the grace of God and with your help we will make it! Holy Cross Anglican Primary School will love and feed and nurture and educate as many children as possible!!! I pray that you will accompany us this in incredible adventure in ministry - smile!!
To read more of Ms. Francis letter go to http://www.sanpedrodaily.com/9-10-06.html
On September 12th, Nurse Heather and Francis took her (with Mom and baby sister) to Belize City. The pediatrician immediately admitted her to the hospital. After three days of blood work, x-rays, CAT scan and a dozen other tests, she was finally able to come home with ELEVEN different medications. She was diagnosed with TB, pneumonia, anemia, malnutrition and parasites - a very sick little girl.
Now after two weeks of medication - overseen by Nurse Heather - she is transformed. Happy, active, running around like a healthy 6 year old - wow! She will be on medication for the next year and require frequent monitoring but she is definitely on the mend - thanks be to God.
That’s the really good news but of course there are always accompanying challenges…medical bills are approaching $4,000US and will undoubtedly continue to add up. Francis is praying that some of you will be able to contribute to her recovery!!! If you can, please make checks payable to “Holy Cross Anglican School” with ‘medical’ in the memo section and send to:
Mrs. Francis Wilson
Anglican Diocese of Belize
PO Box 535
Belize City, Belize
Visits to the Dentist were made possible through the generosity of Dr. Mark and Joan Johnson. Mark and Joan come to San Pedro several times a year from their home in Minnesota and provide free dental care to the children on the Island. They work out of a dental office they equipped in the local Poly Clinic and are a truly a blessing. Thank you Dentist Mark and Hygienist Joan.
Our first Parent-Teacher Meeting held on September 28th. There was a huge turnout most of our students were represented by a parent, or an older sibling. Mayoress Elsa Paz was a surprise guest and welcome addition to our meeting. Afterwards she commented that all our current children would have been on the street and not in school, if Holy Cross had not opened.
A special thank you to Heather Leslie, our first school nurse. Heather comes from Yellowknife, Canada and will be with us until the middle of October. She has been our official school nurse since the first day of school but she has also painted walls, varnished furniture, taught classes, conducted Chapel, organized snacks, done home visits, dried tears, hugged children and loved us all. Thanks Nurse Heather and thanks to Rick her husband for sharing this wonderful lady with us!!
Hello from Holy Cross and happy Columbus Day or Pan American Day as we call it in Belize! Many of you have asked how the little girl who Nurse Heather identified the first week of school as in urgent need of medical care is doing. Francis is thrilled to report that she will be back in school this Tuesday
With your help, 100 children are now learning to read, write, add, subtract and prepare for a meaningful life - breaking the cycle of poverty. A special thanks goes out to Heather Leslie, our first school nurse. Heather comes from Yellowknife, Canada and will be with us until the middle of October. Although she has been our official school nurse since the first day of school, Heather has also painted walls, varnished furniture, taught classes, conducted Chapel, organized snacks, done home visits, dried tears, hugged children and loved us all.
Other Noteworthy moments
We celebrated our first Family Sunday and Harvest Festival (similar to Thanksgiving) on October 22nd. The Very Rev. Lloyd Neal, Dean of the Cathedral in Belize City joined over 120 parents, students and staff for a joyous worship service. Our students brought in thank you gifts to God of fruit, vegetables, canned goods, flour, etc - which were used the following week in our Feeding Program. Casa Pan Dulce Bakery donated a delicious cake and God gave us a beautiful day - it doesn’t get much better that that - smile.
On October 23rd our long awaited and prayed for DESKS finally arrived!! Teachers and students lined the walkway as they were carried into the school. What a wonderful addition to our classrooms. Everything improved a thousand per cent - teaching, learning, classroom management and lunch time. No more eating on the floor - yea!! Holy Cross is very grateful to Yalbac Lumber Company in Cayo for providing these desk at cost!
Thanks to the efforts of San Pedro resident and school volunteer Claire Kelly, our long awaited bathrooms were complete. We now have two small bathroom buildings. Girls and boys with doors and separate stalls, instead of one toilet for the entire school closed off by my old shower curtain. Local businesses donated some of the materials including 3 little urinals which are really cute and Miss Claire raised the rest of the money - thank you Claire.
We also bought our first piece of office equipment in October - a small copy machine. Our four teachers literally jumped up and down with joy.
As part of our Feeding Program at Holy Cross we want to give the children daily multivitamins. Of course they are very expensive (as is everything!) in Belize. If anyone you know is coming to Belize, please ask them to tuck a bottle or two in their suitcases. I'll arrange to get them - smile. Francis Wilson (610-3421)
To learn more please visit the following links...
Bishop Wright and Ms. Sharon Hazel
Holy Cross Students
The show must go on - classes started without any decks
Vernon taking kids to the Dentist
Joan teaching Holy Cross Kids proper dental care
Mark inspecting student's teeth - for many it was first visit to a dentist
Norse Heather takes this opportunity to measure and weigh all the students