Hope Town Kids

HT Primary School emblem

Hope Town Primary School

Children are children, no matter where you might be.  They laugh, they play, they cry.  They ask questions, they answer questions, they try your patience and they fill you with joy. They learn from you and they teach you. Marcia and I, both former educators, offered our time and services to the local elementary school, Hope Town Primary School. We didn’t care what we did, just anything that would help the teachers. We did caution the headmaster that we would be “foul weather volunteers” – if the skies are gray, and it is rainy or cold, we will stop by. He did not mind at all and told us to come any time we wanted; they welcome the extra hands. That was my clue that this is very different than our US schools. Back in the States,  we would have forms to complete, interviews, fingerprinting, DCF checks, and so on.

The Hope Town Primary School was founded in 1893 and educates children from kindergarten through sixth grade.

The front has steps down to the lower road.

The front has steps down to the lower road.

The small buildings, attached to each other by decks and stairs, stretch up the hill to the other higher road.

The small buildings, attached to each other by decks and stairs, stretch up the hill to the other higher road.

There are four teachers, and each teaches two grades in the same classroom – “preschool” is 4 and 5 year olds, 1st and 2nd grade are together, as well as 3rd and 4th, and 5th and 6th. Mr. Higgs, the headmaster is also the 5th/6th grade teacher. Other than preschool, each class has about 20-22 students.

Waiting for school to begin

Waiting for school to begin

Headmaster Higgs meets with all students outside for morning meeting.

Headmaster Higgs meets with all students outside for morning meeting.

“Miss Dee” teaches the 1st and 2nd graders. She lives on Lubbers Quarters, an island just south of elbow Cay and comes by boat every day. Rain, shine, windy or calm. Imagine that! To top that, she is alway cheerful, enthusiastic, and ready to help her students learn.

Miss Dee and student son the way home from school.

Miss Dee and students on the way home from school.

Miss Dee teaches 1st and 2nd graders in her classroom.

Miss Dee teaches 1st and 2nd graders in her classroom.

dsf

First graders – Valentines’ Day !

Lunch is in the open breezeway between two of the classrooms.

Lunch is in the open breezeway between two of the classrooms.

Marcia and I spent a few days working in the school media center/library. A new room had recently been built with a donation from a second home owner. The library held many books, mostly donations from people over the years, but they needed to be organized. We recruited our dear husbands to install two new whiteboards in the media center.

Al and Dan installing the whiteboard in the media center.

Al and Dan installing the whiteboard in the media center.

At the beginning of the second semester (January), we helped with benchmark testing, beginning with one-on-one reading tests for the 1st and 2nd graders. Next, we monitored math assessments administered on the computers.

Students at the computers for math assessments.

Students at the computers for math assessments.

I made number bracelets and introduced them to students during their math centers.

Making number bracelets form pony beads and fuzzy sticks ("pipe cleaners,"  for those of you in m y generation.)

Making number bracelets from pony beads and fuzzy sticks (“pipe cleaners,” for those of you in my generation.)

On Saturdays, we have watched the children learn to sail through the Hope Town Sailing Club’s Junior Sailing program. The morning class is for basics -earning to rig the Opti,  basic steering and boat handling, and  capsize drill. The afternoon class combines Sunfish sailing and Opti racing skills. We have enjoyed watching the children from the docks and from our boat in the harbor as they cruise past us.

Getting ready for sailing lessons

Getting ready for sailing lessons – learning to rig the boat.

Out they go - where's the sail?

Out they go – where’s the sail?

It is fun to watch the children as they learn to handle the boats, but sometimes it is a little unnerving as they lose control right near your big boat!

Sailing around the harbor

Sailing around the harbor in Optis. These three sailors knew what they were doing.

It is fun to watch the children's they learn to handle the boats, but sometimes it is a little unnerving as they lose control right near your big boat!

One of the nicest parts of our stay in Hope Town has been the children, both in school and out of school. They are a vibrant part of this community.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Hope Town Kids

  1. Hello, my aunt, Carol Beachy, volunteered at this school for many years. I am helping her husband, Larry, publish a book about their adventures in the Abacos. I was wondering if we could use the second picture from the top showing the school front, in his book? I can credit the photographer or your website in the caption. Thanks for the consideration. – Robin Beachy

  2. I am glad you were able to incorporate your math teaching background into your trip! Sounds like a great experience and an entirely different educational system – except they too have standardized tests on the computer!

Leave a Reply to Colleen Murphy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *