Police donates 144 schoolbags to elementary students

POSTED: 08/12/13 12:09 PM
SchoolbagsIn center Assistant Detective Veta Euson hands over one of the new school bags to Education Minister Patricia Lourens. They are flanked by ranks of the St. Maarten Police Force and representatives of various elementary schools.  Photo Today/Leo Brown

St. Maarten – Just in time for the start of the new school year, at least 144 students from various elementary schools will benefit from school supplies provided by the St. Maarten Police Force. A simple presentation ceremony took place at the AC Wathey Legislative Hall yesterday afternoon as a cadre of police officers handed over backpacks to Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Patricia Lourens on behalf of seven beneficiary schools.

Minister Lourens said that she was proud of the initiative taken by the police officers to assist the less fortunate in society. Many of the officers are parents themselves and understand the demands, preparation for a new school year places on individuals. The donation proves that St. Maarten is a community that cares, the minister stated.
“As a parent myself, I imagine that the parents who will receive such help will be very grateful. I am saying to kids never forget this gesture that the police and other individuals have made available to you because it proves that we are a community that cares.”

The initiative was the brainchild of Assistant Detective Veta Euson who indicated that this will become an annual activity for ranks. She was instrumental in sourcing funding for the purchase of the school bags which all contain pencil cases, from abroad. Police spokesman Inspector Ricardo Henson said the goal was to target a minimum of 100 students. However the officers who banded together to execute the project surpassed the initial target and were able to provide for 144 children. The project is the first in a series of activities that a still to be established police foundation will organize in the community. (See related story )

The Charles Leopold Bell, Sister Borgia, Seventh Day Adventist, Oranje, Sister Marie Laurence, Hillside Christian Schools (CayHill and St. Peters) and Ruby Labega Schools were recipients of the donation.
Head Inspector at the Inspectorate of Education Priscilla Bell explained that all elementary schools, but public and foundation based, were contacted to assess their needs.
“In this instance these are the schools that responded but we sent out requests to all schools for them to provide the names or amount of students who could have benefited from such a donation,” Bell related.

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