bmobile partners with FUEL to ignite drive in students
Port of Spain, Trinidad, July 5, 2017
Jayden Babb was undoubtedly the star of the inaugural Spelling and Reading Competition as the diminutive nine-year-old received a rousing and heartfelt round of applause when he went onstage at City Hall, Knox Street, to receive first prize for Spelling and third prize for Reading in his age category.
Jayden was one of 86 pupils who took part in the competition that ran from early May at the Queen’s Park Savannah to its recent finale, when the top performers received Tablets donated as prizes by bmobile. The participating schools were St. Hilda’s Government Primary which Jayden attends and which won the inaugural challenge trophy, Gloster Lodge Moravian School, Belmont Boys’ Government Primary, Escalier Government Primary and St. Babb’s Government Primary.
Foundation for the Upliftment and Empowerment of Laventille (FUEL) organised the competition for primary schools in the Laventille West area, with the active support of Laventille West Government MP Mr. Fitzgerald Hinds. Secretary of FUEL, Ms. June Solomon, said, “We walked the area to invite the parents. The way the parents gravitated to this and supported their children was outstanding. The fathers and mothers really supported this.”
Whereas the heartfelt support of the parents was more than she expected, Ms. Solomon said, the support of bmobile was predictable. “We always know we can count on bmobile. They are people who are always looking to the advancement of education in this country.”
Camille Campbell, Vice President of Marketing at TSTT, commended FUEL for their commitment and enthusiasm to help the young people in their community. “bmobile is all about supporting the educational advancement of students of T&T, especially through technology and more particularly in vulnerable communities. Enshrined in our Vision Statement is the core purpose of enriching the lives of citizens, and judging from the response of parents and students, it certainly was an enriching experience in the way it pulled the community and families together.”
More than thirty of the top performers from among all the pupils aged 5 to 10 who participated in the competition, will be given SEA preparation classes, as well as taken on tours to widen their horizons. “We want to ensure that what we have started, the children would continue to benefit from it, that the programme is sustainable,” Ms. Solomon said.
The decision to launch the competition was taken after Mr. Hinds witnessed the joy and pride in the reading abilities displayed by two youngsters from Laventille West, Faith Stewart, who was at the time coping with the trauma of a family tragedy, and Heru Williams. “The excellent performance of the students provides evidence of what we have known all along. That these children, given the opportunity, can go very far,” said Mr. Hinds
Ms. Sheelah Inniss, principal of St. Hilda’s Government Primary, at Quarry Street, East Dry River, was on hand to receive the challenge trophy which her school won for placing among the top three in all categories. Ms. Inniss explained that the success of her pupils was very much due to both the pupils’ and their parents’ willingness to make sacrifices, giving up weekends and playtime in school to practice drills for the competition.
Hakeem Slaker, 9, of Gloster Lodge Moravian School took first prize for reading in the nine-plus age category.