Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Counting our Blessings

Posted by Wayne Anderson in General  |  Post a comment

Sometimes it is beneficial to take a few moments to reflect upon our life and our blessings, so that we can remember how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place surrounded by so many caring individuals. Last week, I had the good fortune to take a vacation with my wife to the island of Grenada in the southern Caribbean. While on vacation, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit one of their elementary schools and talk to the staff and students. After our visit, I took some time to reflect and compare on the similarities and differences between our new elementary school and the one that I had visited in Grenada.

My favorite similarity was the children. Children are full of energy, smiles and hope. I love being around children because they bring joy by their smiles, high fives and willingness to share what they are learning in school. The children that I met in Grenada and our children are very similar in that they come to school each day filled with hope for the future. They enjoy learning, being with their friends and being asked to share what they are studying in school. At lunch, they cannot wait to finish eating so that they could go out and play.

However, there were some very obvious differences. All students in Grenada have to wear school uniforms regardless of their grade level. Each school has its own distinct uniform. It was explained to me that students are required to wear school uniforms in order to reduce distractions and foster a belief that all students are equal. I think this is an interesting approach, but I still enjoy seeing how students show their individuality through fashion.

The most significant difference I saw dealt with the school building and supplies. Though the students and staff took good care of their buildings, their facilities were smaller and their classrooms were more crowded than our facilities. They also had many less materials to work with than our staff and students. As I walked through their library, I noticed that they only had a small area to display and store books. The weather was quite warm in Grenada, about 85 degrees with relatively high humidity. As I toured the classrooms, it felt much like it used to in our old Elementary School during the hot, humid days of September. I was glad to remember that our new elementary school has air conditioning so that the climate is much more comfortable for teaching and learning.

By the end of the tour, I was refreshed knowing that our community has made a strong investment in our children by providing them with an excellent facility for learning and also for the supplying them with the necessary materials to help them grow academically, physically and socially. Education is truly the road that helps young people prepare for the future. I was glad that I had the opportunity to visit a school in Grenada. I could see that the staff truly wanted the best for their students in the same way that our staff wants the best for our students.

Thank you again for your support! It never goes unnoticed or unappreciated.


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