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SLHTA Launches Inaugural After School Programme In Soufriere

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The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the philanthropic arm of the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA), on Monday, September 19, 2022 launched its inaugural After School Programme on the Soufriere Primary School.

In attendance were parents, students, school officials and representatives from the SLHTA and TEF.

The After School Programme is geared toward helping students from the Soufriere Infant and Primary schools attain grade-level reading proficiency, enhance reading comprehension and ultimately improve performance at national examinations.

The programme will provide over sixty (60) students with instruction in Reading Therapy, Emotional Learning, Agricultural Science, Physical Education, Music (Steel Pan) and Arts & Crafts.

Mr. Kendal Alexander is a Counsellor at Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School and serves because the coordinator of the programme.

Said Alexander: “We recognised that quite a lot of children fail because they’re incapable of reading. We recognised that if we bridge that gap very early; in the event that they have the capability to read and comprehend thoroughly, then, after all, the performance in District Eight will likely be something that every one of us as Soufrierians might be very pleased with.”

He thanked the TEF for providing support and urged parents to be committed to the programme to make sure the objectives are met.

“The youngsters are the longer term,” said TEF Programme Manager Ms. Donette Ismael. “This programme is our way of taking good care of them and ensuring that they’ve the obligatory foundation to achieve success.”

She continued: “People may ask ‘Why Soufriere?’ Soufriere is a hub for tourism. In our marketing campaigns, we prominently feature the Pitons and the Sulphur Springs, so it’s fitting that this programme commences in Soufriere! It’s a way of giving back to the those that make tourism occur. It’s your hospitality, good nature and warm smile to a visitor that makes them want to return back to Saint Lucia.”

Ismael told the scholars that they’ll achieve anything they put their minds to, and encouraged them to benefit from the programme. She also reminded parents of their critical role, stating: “You might be integral in making this programme a hit. Without your commitment; without you encouraging your kids, this programme won’t achieve success.”

Ismael heaped praises on Ladera Resort, Stonefield Villa Resort and Renwick & Company Ltd.— the primary three sponsors to partner with the TEF on the pilot project. She also thanked all the businesses that contribute to the TEF.

Without them, she noted, this initiative wouldn’t be possible. Based on the success of this pilot, the SLHTA intends to introduce the programme in other districts.

An enthusiastic District Eight Education Officer, Ms. Joel Charlemagne, thanked the TEF for deciding to launch the initiative in Soufriere, and encouraged students to place their best foot forward. “It’s a fantastic programme, all about developing our kids holistically. Let’s make this work! We’re very grateful and we’re indebted to them. The one way we are able to repay the SLHTA is by giving them excellent results.”

SOURCE: Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association. Headline photo: Stock image.

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