A community action group that offers schools supplies to public primary schools has donated more than $30,000 of supplies across the island this year.
Support Public Schools Bermuda, which entered its fifth year this year, celebrated the milestone with the help of sponsor Ariel Re by donating 250 reusable water bottles to three separate schools, including Victor Scott Primary.
The schools were part of SPS.bm’s island-wide route to deliver new supplies in preparation for the 2023-24 school year.
Juliana Snelling, the founder of SPS.bm, said: “The SPS.bm team are extremely passionate about the importance of a good education for our children, who will be Bermuda’s future leaders.
“To them, we say, ‘You are important to us; we care about you; we are proud of you; and we are going to continue to help you.”
She added: “We are also passionate about the excellent work that our public schoolteachers do each and every day.
“Since SPS.bm’s inception in 2018, there is a growing appreciation from the private and corporate donor community and the giving gets better every year.”
SPS.bm was founded in 2018 in an effort to provide supplies, such as books and writing instruments, to public school teachers and pupils.
Teachers put together wish lists and submit them to the group’s website, where items can be purchased to fulfil needs.
Ms Snelling, who is also a director at Canterbury Law, said: “There are never enough good-quality supplies for the thousands of students who will be attending school in September.”
She added: “SPS.bm delivery days this school year were in January 2023 and now today, when our small team of dedicated volunteers will deliver school supplies purchased by our supporters to targeted classroom groups in the public primary schools.
“Sadly, there are not enough new supplies to also deliver to middle schools and senior schools, but we do donate second-hand supplies and office equipment to these other schools throughout the year.”
Ms Snelling said that, in its five years of operation, SPS.bm had received more than $465,000 in new school supplies and inspired the donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of second-hand IT equipment, office supplies and other goods to public schools at all levels.
Purchases and donations are made both by members of the public and corporate sponsors, such as KPMG, Ariel Re, Lancashire Re, Athens Life and BF&M.
She said that this year’s wish lists included clocks, bean bags, zipper homework folders, Elmers glue sticks, rulers and Expo dry erase markers.
Ms Snelling said: “I would like to once again express my sincere and huge gratitude to our two biggest supporters this year — Butterfield, which has given so generously every year since our inception, and Ariel Re, which has wholeheartedly joined the cause this year.
“Butterfield has always encouraged other organisations to follow its lead and give and we see it happening with Ariel Re and are ecstatic.”