Bert Williams MBE sparked a new project that links primary schools with Brighton with his own former school in Coleyville, Jamaica, Bryce Primary School.

The school has asked for help with two projects that will inspire and engage its students to improve their mathematics and reading skills: Reading Park and Furniture Drive.

The rural school has a total of 500 students, with a small staff team, but needs help. Most of the pupils are from low socio-economic backgrounds, hailing from farming communities near the school. The multi-talented teaching staff does its best to reach each student with little or limited resources. 

READING PARK

The teachers plan to convert a section of the school into a reading park. This will be a haven decked with outdoor furniture, trees and plants for shade and décor. Students will explore Language Arts and Reading through fun interactive games, mobiles, footprints, puzzles, activity sheets, books, murals and other prints, supervised by the prefect body.

FURNITURE DRIVE

The school are trying to collect colorful, sturdy tables and chair suitable for children aged six to eight. Teachers have observed that children in grades one to three stand during writing exercises, as they are given benches suitable for 12-year-olds and cannot reach the desktop. The benches are also very difficult to facilitate group exercises.

So far, five schools in Brighton have signed up to link with Bryce Primary and organise for books and furniture.

Since January 2016, St Joseph’s Primary, small Catholic primary school in Hollingdean, Brighton, has been organising fundraisers and furniture and book collections to help the school. A recent Caribbean fundraiser raised £416 for the school. They has also organised food and cultural events to give students a chance to learn about Jamaica, including a taste of foods such as sweet potatoes, coconut, and watermelon.

Bert wrote in a letter to St Joseph’s:

“May I take this opportunity on behalf of myself and my friends to thank you and the St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School teachers, staff and helpers for making us feel so welcome and included in the event last night. My friends and I felt as though we had been transported back to Jamaica with the room, the table decorations, the steel band music and the tasty Caribbean food – which was beautifully served.

“I feel honoured, excited and proud to be part of such a successful project to help those less fortunate to access educational resources. This linking of the two schools will ensure that the teachers, parents and pupils recognise that others are interested in them. For me it is a motivation to do more, to help the teachers and the children realise that they can achieve some of their educational dreams.”

For more information on supporting Bryce Primary, please contact Amy Zamarripa Solis on amy@amysolis.com