Not only is it therefore important to offer all the assistance necessary to those students who are struggling, but equally those who are producing exceptional academic performances must be supported and recognized for their achievements.
And this is precisely what has been driving a ten year old awards programme that caters to students from various primary schools on the northern side of rural St. Kitts.
The initiative was inaugurated in 2004 as part of efforts to “give back to the community” by the long serving parliamentary representative for the area, Dr. Timothy Harris. To date 240 students from primary schools such as Violet Petty Primary, Joshua Obadiah Primary, Estridge Primary and Edgar T Morris Primary have benefited.
A special ceremony was recently hosted to mark the Tenth Anniversary of what is called the Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris “Help A Child Programme” Award Ceremony, hosted at the Miracle Temple Church at Lodge Project. In attendance this year were over 200 persons including parents, guardians, students, Pastors, education officials, constituents and well-wishers of Dr. Harris and members of the joint opposition group known as Team Unity.
Twenty-four (24) students drawn from four (4) Primary Schools – Violet Petty Primary, Joshua Obadiah Primary, Estridge Primary and Edgar T Morris Primary received commendation and applause as the most recent beneficiaries of a programme.
As a measure of inspiration for the young students and also as a note to parents, Dr. Harris gave an insight into his own academic experiences. He acknowledged that his own academic journey from preschool to University was made possible through the benevolence and kind intervention of others. He identified for example a brother who bought his uniform for him to attend the Cayon High School.
He said that he succeeded in attending the University of the West Indies on a scholarship, thanks to the intervention of Constantine Richardson of the University Extra Mural Department, Professor Robinson and finally CIDA and UWI sponsored his PhD studies in Montreal, Canada.
Dr Harris said that he knew first hand that the kind interventions of others have made a positive difference in the lives of the poor because that has been his experience. He thanked all those who contributed to his educational achievements and pledged to do all he could to ensure that the constituency award programme continued long after his engagement in politics.
Students performed in dance, songs and poetry and one parent paid glowing tribute in song “God Sent An Angel in Dr Timothy Harris” to a rousing applause. Another took to the podium to thank Dr Harris for his work in the constituency and support for the children.
Students received financial support to tide them through a difficult economy coming after a very challenging 2013, said a statement from the organizers. The point was also made that while students and their parents are facing their challenges, there are many adults who are struggling to find decent work.