Getting ready for new school year

Took Michele and Mary to the school today - we dropped off some donations and had a great visit.

We saw Miss Linda she was busy in the office registering students. Miss Grace Mr Cullen and Miss Kath.

Some kids were there helping do posters to get ready for the new school year.
As we walked around the school there were a few of posters that caught my eye one said...To solve a problem you have to see things with different points of view - boy I wish someone had told me that earlier. The one below is not so much a poster but colorful sayings on the wall to teach the children some very important things.

Good life skills - always helps to be polite and know how to say I'm sorry

Teaching kids the values of respect and being on time

Sign language learning materials

Kids getting ready for new school year

Map of Belize


2 brothers and their sister eating lunch

We now have formal approval to move the trailer of school supplies, first aid supplies, hand sanitizers and playground equipment from St. Louis to Amarillo to Tim Tam at The Word at Work at no charge. We get this generous gift from the fine people at Yellow Transportation here in St. Louis. They also helped to get the donations of all the paper products, notebooks, writing tablets, office supplies, etc. (about 8 pallets!) and by the way they also donated the trailer we put it in. Lastly, they were kind enough to even help us load it up. I can't say enough good things about Bob Kraemer and his associates at Yellow for all they have done.

We will have a little going away ceremony here next week and then it will be on it's way to Amarillo and then on to Holy Cross School in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize.

There will be a small article in the Yellow Corporate magazine and I hope I can describe the school and all the great work that has been done by Vernon and his incredible team for the kids on the island and I'll try to throw in a link so they can learn more. You have done so much in such a small amount of time.

I'll also try to mention how the A/C message board fund raising drive provided the funds for the second (ocean) leg of the journey. Thanks go out to Fr. Mal Roberts of Peace Church for all of his assistance in holding the money for us.
This started out as a simple idea some time ago, and simple ideas sometimes get more complex as time goes on, but perseverance, flexibility, and the generosity of some fine people have finally gotten this idea ready to roll South.

Thanks go out to everyone who has touched this little project. I think there is enough paper to last a year or more, enough hand sanitizer to last 2-3 years, and enough of some of the first aid supplies to last even longer, even for 500 kids and staff.

We are very pleased to see this material on it's way to the school.

Thanks again,
Ed and Sandy Settle

Letter to the editor - Vernon Wilson

Letter to the editor featured in this weeks San Pedro Sun.

It is long overdue time for an update of what is happening at Holy Cross Anglican School. I think as the director of Holy Cross School my decisions need to be made based on information I collect from the people of San Pedro as well as my personal observations. It is through the input of the people of San Pedro that I base my decisions on as far as the direction of what we at the school are doing and planning for the future of our school and the work we are doing with the Ministry of Education.

I think that it is important for people to be a part of the decision making process. That is one reason we require our upper grade students to read the news paper each week and do a report on what they read. The need to make decisions based on facts not hearsay. They will be the adults of the future.

It is also why I have been working with CNU college in USA and the Minister of Education in Belize to bring CNU's marine biology department and set up a study of mangroves and the micro biology associated with them. They will be at my request setting up a farm to grow mangroves for transplanting to other areas of the island to help replace what the developers are destroying by clear cutting of the mangroves. This project has been in the works for just over 2 years. It is scheduled to start this year. We have at the school started a transplanting project ourselves and have been monitoring the success of it for the last 2 years.

We will also be pioneering the transplanting of sea grasses in Belize to help replace the sea grasses which will be displaced by dredging for sand for piers, landings, and people running their boats around.

We are very involved with the minister of Education in setting up these programs as we as a college course for teachers using our new computer lab to help them be able to obtain their Associate Teachers Degrees without leaving the island or their teaching jobs.

There are plans to build a cat 5 hurricane shelter permanant school structure in the future. We also have plans to build a health post and child counselling center. (The counselling center will be opening in Sept). We have the only school in the country with a dental post for children (which is totally free to the children) and the only school in the country with a full time nurse on staff.
We have more plans for educational related projects and would be happy to share then with anyone who would like to come by the school and talk with us and help in what ever way you can.

We have 500 Students registered for this Sept. and have turned down over 200 this summer due to lack of space and finances. There is a great need for good affordable education on the island and we will strive our best at supplying it to our children.

On a personal note some background info on myself: I was one of the founders of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Virginia and we as a group started educating the people about the damage that was being done to the eco system in Chesapeake Bay. We worked with Virginia Marine institute and did extensive study and research on sea grasses and the transplanting of them to restore the health of the bay. The bay has gone through a wonderful transformation since we started the foundation.

I have been working in Belize with the fishing associations educating them in the use of circle hooks and catch and release of bill fish. I have been working with the Fishery Ministry in Belize City for the last 5 years on various projects associated with research and policy development as related to recreational fishing in Belize.

If anyone would like more information on any of the project we at Holy Cross or myself are involved in, I am usually available at the school 6 - 7 days a week. Please feel free to stop by talk and see what we are doing anytime. The school's phone # is 226-3456

Vernon Wilson
Director of Holy Cross Anglican School


40 new Dell computers

A must here - surge protectors

Imagine the possibilities

Lots of learing potential

Brand new - thanks Parish of St Matthews

Miss Grace and Miss Linda helping fit and collect money for new uniforms

Volunteers washing chairs

Summer update - Miss Francis

Dear Friends, Warm (actually hot!) summer wishes coming your way from Holy Cross Anglican School in Belize!! This summer has certainly been a busy time at the School filled with many celebrations, some unexpected challenges and, unfortunately, a few crisis. As we prepare for almost 500 students (wow!) to begin a new school year on September 1st, please keep us in your prayers and take a moment or two to catch up on the latest happenings at YOUR school here in San Pedro - smile!

We have CELEBRATED the arrival of hundreds of volunteers from churches all across the USA , including:

All Saint’s Episcopal, Fort Worth, TX
St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Fort Worth, TX
South Crest Baptist Church, Lubbock, TX
St. Mary’s Episcopal, El Dorado, Arkansas
St. Stephen’s Episcopal, Edina, MN (two teams!)
Good Shepherd Episcopal, Kingwood, TX
Ladoga Christian Church, Ladoga, IN
St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Newport News, VA (two teams!)
Assembly of God Church, Dallas, TX
St. Philip’s Episcopal, Frisco, TX
Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal, Virginia Beach, VA

We have CELEBRATED the offering of Vacation Bible School to our neighborhood children courtesy of the above volunteer groups. The happy sounds of excited children have floated across the school compound and many little folks have been kept off the streets for several hours each morning, learned about God and received a healthy mid-morning snack.

We have CELEBRATED the arrivals of: Jonathan and Lindsey, students from Dallas Christian College, who will be volunteering at the School until December; teachers Miss Laura and Miss Alex from California who taught Language Arts for our three week Summer School program; another great teacher, Miss Melissa, from Virginia who conducted teacher training and brought tons of supplies; Ms. Kelly and her daughter, Julia, from Canada who will spend the month of August helping set up classrooms and do bulletin boards; and many wonderful folks who have dropped by to visit and/or work a while at Holy Cross!

We have CELEBRATED with our recent graduates as they completed mandatory summer school - part of the enrollment process for San Pedro High School . They all did well and said it was ‘easy’ – smile.

We have CELEBRATED the arrival of forty new Dell computers, several printers, projector and all the pieces and parts necessary to put together a state of the art computer lab - all transported free of charge by Pastor Tim Tam with Word at Work Ministries, Amarillo, TX. Many thanks to several wonderful computer donors who wish to remain anonymous and the Parish of St. Matthew’s in Pacific Palisades, CA for making this incredible gift possible! Thirty two volunteers from St. Matthew’s will be here next week - including Mr. Eric who will oversee the instillation and set up of the computer lab.

We have CELEBRATED the arrival of a generous grant (already spent!) for the computer lab secured by St. Luke’s Episcopal, Durham, NC and Mr. John Willard – it saved us from bankruptcy!

We have CELEBRATED the arrival of precious school supplies, tennis shoes, BOOKS!, uniform shirts and pants, back packs, art supplies, polo shirts for our teachers, printer cartridges, kitchen equipment, sports equipment, office supplies, lice shampoo and essential financial contributions – thanks to everyone who shared their bounty with the children of Holy Cross!!

Celebrations seem to go hand in hand with challenges here at Holy Cross. Since we always try to focus on the good things that are happening, our list of challenges is shorter but none the less significant!

We were CHALLENGED when the School Office was broken into during a torrential rain storm in June. Although Mr. Freddy was right at the School, it was night time, the electricity was down and the storm was raging. We were out about $500 as the school camera, a cd player and petty cash were taken. Lesson learned…we changed locks on both doors to dead bolts and install additional lighting. (Not of much use when the electricity is off!)

We were (and continue to be) CHALLENGED by the needs of our twenty two recent graduates as they struggle to finance their first year of high school. It is difficult if not impossible to raise the money they need while trying to make ends meet here at Holy Cross. However, we know that God speaks to different hearts in different ways so some of you may feel called to assist with a scholarship. If so, send your contribution to Holy Cross and specify: Scholarship, High School.

We were CHALLENGED with security issues in the computer lab. Schools nationwide have been robbed as soon as computers were installed and we ourselves had just experienced a break in. Figuring that 40 new computers would be too enticing for thieves to ignore, we decided to put steel rods (rebar) welded together, into the walls, ceiling and floor and installed 2 inch thick wood doors covered with metal sheeting. We also decided to build a small apartment adjacent to the computer lab for the school warden – extra security. All this led to several current crises (PLEASE read on!!).

We are in the throes of a terrible financial CRISIS as the School owes the local hardware store almost $41,000US and the lumber yard almost $16,000US – a total of $57,000US!!! The addition of rebar in the computer lab and the building of the school warden's room cost us almost $25,000 - a totally unplanned for expense. The materials for the library, two new classrooms and another bathroom facility make up the additional debt of $33,000. Calls come everyday asking for payment – PLEASE HELP!!

We are in the throes of a terrible time-crunch CRISIS as the additional construction on the computer lab took two weeks out of the summer work schedule. That means the two classrooms and bathroom are just getting started (see attached photos) and the library needs tons of additional work. School opens on September 1st, so we've had to hire additional workers and everyone is doing overtime. That is exacerbating our financial crisis as we have higher labor costs and less available money to pay off debt – PLEASE HELP!!

We are in CRISIS as School opens in 27 days. That means the Feeding Program starts ($1,500US per week), sararies for the School bookkeeper, nurse and warden have to be paid ($500US per week), purified water is consumed in every classroom ( $125US per week), lots of toilets flush ($125US per week), lights, fans and now ac for the computer lab run up electric costs (best estimate is around $250US per week), telephone use increases ($50US per week), janitor services to clean classrooms twice a month ($50US per week). And then there are sick children needing medication, septic tanks to be pumped out, land fill to purchase, and a thousand other things. A total financial meltdown is upon us - PLEASE HELP!!

YOU are our indispensable partners in this ministry called Holy Cross Anglican School. We've come so far with your continuing've built this school, fed disadvantaged children, provided a solid foundation for their dreams. As partners and friends, we want you to rejoice with us when we celebrate, help us rise to the challenges we encounter and assist in times of crisis. We’re in crisis – PLEASE HELP!!!

As always your PRAYERS are desperately needed and your financial donations keep the School moving forward. The Government of Belize only pays teacher salaries - everything else in your loving hands!!!

Please make your check payable to: Holy Cross Anglican School. And please, pray, pray, pray!!! Holy Cross Anglican School San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye , Belize Please make your check payable to: Holy Cross Anglican School. And please, pray, pray, pray!!! Holy Cross Anglican School San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye , Belize

Remember to check the school web site at: Remember to check the school web site at:

Many thanks and Blessings, Francis

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