In the ongoing quest to help those in need, the Calvin Ayre Foundation took the initiative in 2005 by adopting a school and transforming it step by step into a vastly improved educational facility. With this, the Adopt a School program, the CAF has made a lifelong commitment to a school that will benefit from the Foundation’s financial aid. This commitment, characteristic of all of the Foundation’s projects, was sealed the very moment that the school was chosen.
Picking Out the Beneficiary School
At the request of the Calvin Ayre Foundation, the Ministry of Education provided a list of extremely poor schools. The Ãngel Calderon School School was one of these schools. It is located in Grecia, and tends to 86 students, all from low-income families. Some of the school’s most urgent requirements were to be able to supply the school cafeteria with enough food for all the children, to have larger classrooms that would adequately accommodate the students, and to provide an appropriate and safe area for the children to play during recess.
Although many nearby schools faced similar needs, the infrastructure at the Rafael Ãngel Calderon School was the weakest, and the students’ poor diets were affecting their ability to concentrate during class. Some children had even fainted from dehydration, since the school is located in a very hot area.
Hands to Work:
As is customary, once the beneficiary school was picked out, the Calvin AyreFoundation drew up a schedule of activities for documenting and reporting on the progress.
The first scheduled improvements were:
The painting and refurbishment of the kitchen. This refurbishment practically meant building an entirely new kitchen. The Foundation donated new appliances and a new floor, and built appropriate storage cupboards for large quantities of foods. The entire layout of the kitchen was also rearranged.
The repair of the school’s electrical system, including exposed cables. Another improvement made was the solution found for the storage of the kitchen’s gas cylinder, which had been kept dangerously within the reach of children.
Further improvements were made, including:
Construction work on five classrooms, which were finished by February 17, 2006 Ventilation and lighting systems were integrated into each classroom. A new playground was built and the garden was completely restored and redesigned following a new and dynamic plan involving minimal maintenance. The bathrooms were completely adapted to consider differences in size and age.
Children’s sinks were placed on the recess yard to encourage the children to wash their hands before and after each meal, and to promote good hygiene habits. The entire roof was replaced and new gutters were installed. The kindergarten was refurbished and painted in soft pastel colors, making it a bright and fresh learning environment for the smallest children. The furniture was adapted for small children.
Three entirely new classrooms were built with integrated ventilation and lighting systems. The whole school was repainted. A safety fence was installed around the entire school.
The old building, which lacked an appropriate and safe infrastructure for children, was brought down. The basketball court was built in its place. A computer lab was built. A teachers room was built, providing the teachers with a place to plan their lessons.
The Building Process:
The whole process took three years. The progress was monitored through monthly reports on the improvements. Along with many other details, the refurbishment of the school has brought many benefits to the students, who are very motivated to study and improve themselves.