When the folks at St. Peter Anglican School in Orange Walk Town asked BNE for 5 Thousand dollars, to give their rundown classrooms a cosmetic touch up, they didn't expect a windfall of 100 Thousand Dollars.
In approving the generous sum, the trust which receives hundreds of requests for financial assistance, says it was touched by the type of assistance the school gives to special needs students.
And so, today, as a result of that grant, students and staff at the school joined BNE officials in proudly showing off the newly renovated school which now comes with an expansion known as the Patsie Browne Special Education Center.
The center is expected to provide the best educational services available for children with disabilities.
The Chairman of the BNE Charitable Trust - who's also running as a UDP candidate for an election nearby in a few days - explains, as does the Principal of the school who happens to be the wife of the well-known PUP candidate for Orange Walk Central...
Orlando Burns - Chairman, BNE
"At the beginning, St. Peters sent a letter asking for $5000 for paint. Obviously, the school was very dilapidated. The school has just existed because of some kindly generate donations from people - the BSI people and the community of Orange Walk, the business community. And it was long overdue for some help. The building was dilapidated; the bathrooms were of no use. The children needed a new ramp because they only had one ramp on this very long building, so when we visited the project we saw that $5000 wouldn't really have an impact. So $5000 dollars turned out to be $100,000, and we are very proud of that because today you can take a walk through the building; the bathrooms are brand new. It's like a brand new building."
Roxane Briceno - Principal, St. Peter Anglican School
"This building was built in 1991 by the Orange Walk Community, by sponsors in the U.K, and all over the world. We got a lot of help for this building, but today what happened, the building was officially inaugurated as a part of renovation project. Over the years, obviously the bathrooms became dilapidated. The bathrooms were no longer accessible for the kids that we have now in wheel chairs. So that was what they, the BNE Charitable Trust did. They expanded on what we already had. They renovated it and they made it more conducive to learning; so for us it's a big step to becoming more accessible."
"I see ramps like for special needs kids. Do you have alot of special needs kids here?"
"In wheel chairs, they come in slowly. Yes we have about - at the moment we have about 5 children that come in wheel chairs. We only had 1 ramp at the beginning, and we felt the need for another one, to make it more practical and more accessible. So, I think for right now Orange Walk is the only school that has a ramp that makes it easier for the kids to get into their class rooms."
The newly renovated school employs a staff of 20, and caters to more than 225 students, 35 of them with special needs.