The Daily Herald writes that Child Focus summer activities programme 2014, coordinated and organised by Stacey Simmons and Suzanne Guido, came to a close on Friday, July 11, with a fun-filled barbeque at Cove Bay. Their goal was to create a variety of enjoyable activities giving participants an opportunity to experience and learn about local traditions, Saba history, environmental awareness, compassion, mindfulness, sports, healthy living habits and artistic creativity.
A total of 120 participants ages 4 to 16 registered, including pupils of Sacred Heart and Saba Comprehensive schools, as well as some children who were visiting the island from abroad. Although some activities were cancelled in the second week due to a lack of volunteers, there were 58 activities, including a healthycooking workshop sponsored by Saba Fit and led by chef Michel Jansen, a discussion on Saba history led by Will Johnson, as well as a conch shell blowing demonstration by Percy Tenholt, reading games created and executed under leadership of teacher Helen Hassell and Queen Wilhelmina Library staff, a meditation and relaxation workshop by Suchita Peeters and CPR training for teenagers conducted by Pat Nation and Tara Every from Saba University School of Medicine.
Children also received a lesson on making a traditional local conch dish by Ernest Hassell and a kite-making activity was led by Jeff Johnson. Some of the other activities included cookie baking followed by a special delivery and presentation to elderly at Honourable Henry Every Home for the Aged, puppet making, snorkelling, kayaking, hiking, weaving, mask making, ribbon dancing, tie dye, pizza making, a mosaic project, bird house and cupcake, scavenger hunts, an archaeological artefact identification activity, a gardening project, a tour of the early colonial sugar boiling house ruins at Spring Bay and motivational discussions based on anti-bullying and teambuilding.
Susan Hurrell of Saba Conservation Foundation was instrumental in carrying out many activities such as garbage collection, fish identification and conducting a skit demonstrating the roles of predators and prey during turtle nesting.
Teenagers were guided with a charity project raising over US $200, which will be donated to Heart for Haiti organisation. This group created a stand at Breadline Plaza where they sold plants and local fruit to raise funds. They also offered home services to the elderly for a low cost which contributed to the donation to help an orphanage in Haiti. Birdhouses made by children ages 9 to 11 were also available for sale to raise funds for this project.
Soccer practice was held almost every day. Participants were coached by James Granger, Eddy Delgado, visiting coach Michiel van der Werf and youth leader Wilson Ramirez.
During the first week, volunteers from Lipscomb University assisted with supervision and guidance. Lipscomb University is based in Tennessee with volunteers coming to the island to carry out youth programmes for more than 10 years.
On Thursday, July 10, visitors to St. Maarten on a boat trip on Dawn II visited St. Maarten Zoo and Le Galion beach.
Simmons and Guido extended their “sincere gratitude” to everyone who made this programme possible, including parents who assisted on the boat trip and barbeque day. “By creating a dynamic, multi-faceted summer-activities programme we hope to have made an impact on the lives of all participants, leaving each child with lasting memories of a fantastic summer experience,” they stated.