Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Students with special needs get 'Cats' as a Holiday treat

Students, teachers and volunteers enjoyed 'Cats'.

Students, teachers and volunteers enjoyed 'Cats'.

About 300 students from special units and special schools across Barbados got an early Christmas gift as they enjoyed a movie, popcorn and sweet treats at the Olympus Theatres.

The movie was the animated film 'Cats' and the day was organised by Variety - the Children's Charity, Barbados Tent.

However, Variety's volunteers were assisted by 25 students between the ages of 14 years old and 18 years old from The Combermere School Key Club.

Chatting with Loop, the Key Club Faculty Advisor Dr Deon Lyder said that the hope is for the Key Clubbers to take away "The joys of helping someone, giving back, understanding what it means to serve as that is part of the Key Club motto - to serve home, school and community. It is not about being selfish but about sharing and caring." 

Teacher Toni Daniel added that the Key Club has been working with Variety for "many, many years", however, she and Lyder claried that for some in the group, this may be the first time having assisted with the movie morning.

Asked what she wants the student volunteers to learn from the experience, Daniel shared:

"I think if we want to talk about what is important a lot of universities, which some of them will be applying to soon, value this volunteer work. It teaches them teamwork and that is important in the world of work and in university they will need to learn to accomplish tasks with others. So what they are learning here is not only important to their academic development but their overall development.

"If parents want a well-rounded child, then Key Club is it!" 

Esther Burrowes, a parent of a student who attends a special unit, 5-year-old Xavier Eastmond, said that the initiative is "great". She said she would encourage anyone who is willing to organise more outings for these children.

Students who were treated included those from The Ann Hill School, Erdiston Special School, Ellerton Special Unit, All Saints Special Unit, Charles F Broome Special Unit, and Eagle Hall Special Unit. 

The students not only enjoyed the movie, but they were given cake, ham cutters, popcorn, and drinks. And when the movie ended and they thought the fun was done... Santa showed up! 

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