Summer Update from Holy Cross (inc Tropical Storm Harvey)
Hello once again to all our faithful supporters. We really hope you have all had a great summer, and our thoughts are with all of you from Texas who are suffering worse heat than we are.
First up, I’d like to reassure you all that Tropical Storm Harvey missed the school entirely, and other than a little rain and wind did not cause any disturbance at all. So thank you all for your prayers of protection.
Summer is always a busy time for the school, and this summer was no exception. Thank you so much to all the teams and visitors who came down to help the kids and the school. Here are a few highlights…
· Vacation Bible School ran for 4 weeks, and the kids had a wonderful time learning of God’s love and faithfulness, doing craft, singing songs, listening to stories and kicking balls. VBS makes such a difference for our kids, many of whom have nowhere else to be. It also lets us continue our feeding program through the summer, which is really important. Thank you so much to the teams from St Paul’s School for Girls, MD; St Simon’s Church in Ontario; Emmanuel Church in Virginia Beach; and St John’s & St Paul’s Church in Lynchberg, VA.
· Summer School ran for 3 weeks under the calm guidance of Ginger Rogers and with help from Connie Crisp and others. They all did a great job, and the kids who attended made significant improvement in their reading. Summer school can literally change people’s lives by teaching them to read – if this is something you’re interested in being part of next year, please let me know. Skilled helping hands are always needed.
· An enthusiastic team from St Matthews in California came down once again to do a week of swim school. This is a highlight for many of the kids, who love splashing in the pool and learning new skills. The skilled swimmers were really challenged this time, and amazed themselves by how far they could swim, and had a blast doing lifesaving exercises.
· Construction is still continuing. This summer Principal Grace received a much needed extension to her office, giving her the space she needs for family conferences and other meetings. Foundations were also improved in various classrooms, and the water garden relocated to better location. All classrooms received a fresh coat of paint ready for the new year. Thank you so much to teams from St Matthews, CA; St Thomas, MA; as well as our VBS teams and other visitors for pitching in to make this all happen. (You too, Ben).
· A stunning mural was created by a team from Eastern Shore Chapel, VA. You can see the mural as soon as you enter the school, and it really adds a splash of vibrant color and fun. Despite it raining for a few days, they managed to get the whole thing done in just one week. Amazing!
· The sewing center is thriving. Just under 10 ladies from the local community are sewing girls uniforms as fast as they can, ready for sale in the coming weeks. They are doing great job, and are very innovative. When they saw someone had donated simple hair ties to the school, they began using scrap uniform fabric to turn them into matching scrunchies. In a few weeks, after school has started, they home to start making bags to sell to tourists.
There is one more exciting piece of news I just have to share – as of 5 September, Holy Cross will officially be opening a PRESCHOOL for 30 three and four year olds. At the request of the Diocese, one of our existing classrooms is being converted to a preschool, giving affordable preschool education to the local kids. This is a tremendous advantage to the local community, as although preschools are available on the island, they are often unaffordable for local families. These children either go without any kind of preschool education, or a sent to live with relatives on the mainland where preschool education is more affordable. Neither of these is good for the children. The children will get a tremendous advange for attending our preschool – not only will they learn to speak English, (giving them a huge advantage when they get to the first year of primary school), they have access to our dentists and feeding program, dramatically improving their health. We are so excited that this could happen (and are now frantically trying to find chairs, desks and all the other things necessary to start a preschool – if you have anything you can donate, please contact me!).
Thank you once again to everyone for your prayers, donations, visits and financial support. We could not do what we do without your continuing help. Every little bit helps, and any donations are gratefully received through the Holy Cross Education Foundation, 7550 Corporate Way, Eden Prairie, MN 55344, Attention: Brian Ostenso, Chairman or online at www.hcefoundation.org.
Holy Cross School