By ALBERT COX
THE Urban Renewal Outreach Centre, located in the former Mabel Walker Primary School off Blue Hill Road North, is proving a valuable source of books for local schools.
Administrators and teachers of Palmdale Primary last week expressed their appreciation for the books Urban Renewal has provided and what they mean for student development and educational advantages.
Deanne Huyler, Principal of Palmdale Primary, described the books as a “saviour to our literacy department” and “a great investment” for the school, adding that they are being used as supplementary materials within the classrooms for grade four and six students. “We have been in need of language arts series within our upper primary classrooms and these grammar textbooks are being used within the lessons,” she told The Tribune.
“I have two practice books that I have used for drills to enable students to pass the fluency passage given. The books I’ve received for my class, grade 6S, are being used for a few purposes. The sixth graders are using them for mandatory book reports. Silent reading is maintained in my classroom after lunch for ten to 15 minutes. Students are being exposed to different genres of literatures and our class library is being broadened and sustained by the books given.”
Dr Clinton Josey Sr, the Vice Principal, said the school had found some materials which they could not find locally in bookstores at the Urban Renewal Centre. “Math, language arts and social studies - we are able to use them,” he said. “The reading text books especially we are grateful for. A lot of these books go along with the Ministry of Education curriculum which is a blessing to many.”
“We are exceptionally grateful for the impact Urban Renewal is having toward educational institutions such as us and throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”
Carlene Louissaint, a second grade teacher and also the Math Co-ordinator at Palmdale Primary, said: “With what is going on here, we have the ability to level the playing field of learning. It’s really a bad feeling as a teacher when you see some students that don’t have the materials are kind of left out to do the work as evenly as everyone who has the book or books. What Urban Renewal is doing has opened the door of opportunity for greater possibility for all of our students, teachers and parents.
“Sometimes, what teachers spend on many of the materials for students is honestly not enough. So what I have witnessed, this is not just a blessing for us as teachers, but also for the parents who in these economic times can come to this Urban Renewal Centre for much book assistance toward students. They may not have all the books but, in general, quite a few they would have, that is of major assistance.”
Daphne Bannister, an administrator and director at the Urban Renewal Centre, said the books were one of many examples in which Urban Renewal is helping the community. “Some persons claim to not see the work that Urban Renewal is doing throughout the Bahamas, but we see it every day through those Urban Renewal touches,” she said. “These educational text books are one of many examples in which Urban Renewal help many throughout many schools obtain books that are difficult for those parents and students to afford. Even some teachers who have difficulty finding particular books, they are able to find it through us to assist with their educational development.”
Urban Renewal Co-Chairman Cynthia “Mother” Pratt said the appreciation from Palmdale Primary affirmed the organisation was making a difference in communities and directly in the schools and educational institutions by assisting with “the intellect of the child, providing parents, students and teachers with the adequate tools to impact their minds, elevating knowledge”.