HOLY CROSS ANGLICAN SCHOOL - UPDATE
Greetings from Holy Cross Anglican School where 160+ students welcomed the start of a two week Easter vacation on Friday, March 30. I must admit the teachers and I were pretty excited too - smile. The twelve weeks since the end of Christmas vacation have been filled to overflowing with school work, art projects, second term exams, Chapel services, volunteer groups, new songs, parent meetings, special events, numerous visitors, buildings under construction, staff additions, training sessions and countless other activities. WOW - we all need a little vacation!!
Each week at Holy Cross seems to be busier than the last - no doubt related to the fact that time evaporates in the tropical sun! So much to teach, so much to learn, so much to do…its hard to believe this all got started just eight short months ago. But as each day has rushed by, we have consistently focused (with God’s help and yours!) on building a firm foundation of educational excellence for the economically disadvantaged children of San Pedro. We’re not just building a school, we’re building brighter tomorrows - day by day, child by child, wonderful moment after wonderful moment!
And, we just love to share our wonderful moments……
February 1st - the official Holy Cross site (www.holycrossbelize.org
) joined the world wide web!!!!!!! Our communications hero, Jim Neff from St. Andrew’s in Newport News, Virginia produced (and maintains) this invaluable resource. Please visit the site often and recommend it to your friends. Its filled with fabulous photos, updates, volunteer information and mission team reports. Many thanks to Jim for his patience and persistence - it was truly a labor of love! And, thanks to his wife Bunny for sharing him with Holy Cross!!
February 5th- the first volunteer mission team arrived at Holy Cross - yea! Under the capable leadership of John Willard, an energetic group of folks from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina contributed their time, talents and treasure to students, staff and the local community. By Friday the 9th they had completed our sixth classroom(!!) and watched (with tears in their eyes) as students carried their desks over the brand new threshold. Our huge Standard I class was finally able to divide into two more manageable and teachable groups - teachers Miss Laura and Miss Diane were overjoyed!!
February 12th - the second volunteer mission team arrived, once again from St. Luke’s in Durham - same leader but a totally different group of folks. They began work on the school Chapel/cafeteria and made great progress. They also, like the group before, spent hours helping in the classrooms, assisting with breakfast, snack and lunch and washing tons of dishes!
February 14 - an incredible Valentine’s Day party complete with an aerial show by visiting skydivers, donated Valentine cards and candy for each student, a sack race and an inflatable trampoline fun house. For many of out students it was a first ever Valentine’s celebration - they were thrilled and delighted! Many thanks to party organizers Laurie and Paul, all those who gave donations and to Cullen for renting the fun house.
February 16th - students from Holy Cross joined the ‘March Against Child Abuse’. Activities of the day focused on helping children understand what abuse is and what to do if they are being abused. The most exciting event for the children was a parade through downtown San Pedro. They carried handmade signs, chanted ‘no more abuse’ and brought their message to the adults of the community.
February 21st - Ash Wednesday services were held in our almost completed School Chapel. Many thanks to Fr. Lloyd Neal from the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Belize City for leading our students and staff in worship as we observed the beginning of the Lenten Season.
February 24th - folks from Christ Church in Easton, Maryland arrived at Holy Cross with school supplies, willing hands and open hearts! They tackled the new school kitchen, continued construction on the Chapel/cafeteria and started sanding 100 chairs and 10 tables. (The beautiful wooden chairs and tables were generously donated to the School by Yalbac Lumber!!) Many in the group were happily near or over retirement age (group leader Don Ayres is 75 - unbelievable!) but they worked and occasionally acted like teenagers - it must be the tropical breezes and the infectious smiles of our little ones!
February 25th - Family Sunday Service was held in our ‘even more completed since Wednesday thanks to the efforts of our volunteer team from Christ Church, Easton Maryland,‘ School Chapel. Fr. Neal once again generously shared his time and talents.
February 26th - teacher Miss Elsy joined the staff at Holy Cross! She is being paid from school funds as we await approval from the Ministry of Education to put her on the Government payroll. Red tape is alive and well in Belize. Based on school enrollment we are entitled to 7 teachers but currently only have 5 on the official payroll - ugh! Miss Elsy is assisting in the Special Education classroom and with Infant II.
February 27th - master teacher, Miss Rosita Miguel, from Belize City spent the day at Holy Cross and provided ‘hands on’ training for our teachers. Only one of our teacher has post secondary school training specifically in education so we need lots of guidance!
February 28th - pizza day at Holy Cross courtesy of the 92 visiting sky divers! Coordinator Richard Grimm and his family handed out mouth watering slices of pizza to students and staff. In addition, the skydivers donated $1,000 in school supplies - wow!
And so February came to a close at Holy Cross Anglican School. As our teachers were busy with lesson plans, classroom projects and the task of educating and our students were about the important work of learning… friends and volunteers from San Pedro and the world beyond made many of our ‘memorable moments’ possible. Thank you one and all - smile! Photos of these special moments are available on the School web site:www.holycrossbelize.org
And with God’s help the March Update will be finished and sent to you SOON (hopefully before April is over - smile). Please remember that all donations of time, talents and treasure are greatly appreciated. If you would like to send a contribution, please make your check payable to “Holy Cross Anglican School” and send to:
Holy Cross Anglican School
Mrs. Francis Wilson, Local Manager
Anglican Diocese of Belize
PO Box 535
Belize City, Belize