Posted by Holy Cross Anglican School at 8:09 AM
Dear Friends of Holy Cross Anglican School, We are so thankful for your continuing support and prayers especially at this time of uncertainty with the Swine Flu outbreak. Belize shares a border with Mexico so many of our parents are anxious and worried. Please surround our children, their families, our staff and community with your prayers.
Now, onto happier news from Holy Cross…..
*Dr. Kim Shackleford, professor of Social Work from the University of Mississippi, temporarily joined the staff at Holy Cross after Christmas break. Dr. Kim is using her sabbatical to work with some of our most troubled children, train our teachers in classroom management/behavior modification techniques and set up the School Counseling Center. In addition, five of her friends who are also social workers have spent varying amounts of time volunteering at Holy Cross. Staff and students are already dreading the day Dr. Kim leaves at the end of May. She has made such a difference at the School and in the lives of our children. Holy Cross definitely needs a full time counselor but Government doesn’t provide for that position. We need the funding to hire a counselor.
*Our long awaited and much anticipated School Library is OPEN and being used every day. Many thanks to each of you who brought books down in your suitcases or sent them to the School. The pictures attached show the wonderful flowering of your efforts. And speaking of efforts, without the help of local volunteers Rick Davidson and Carol Busby the Library would still be an empty room filled with boxes of books. Rick and Carol have labored for thousands of hours organizing the Library, cataloging all the books and teaching staff and children how to use this incredible resource. Many thanks.
*The Holy Cross state-of-the-art Computer Center continue to be busier and busier. Classes are in the lab all day long and teachers flock to the computers for research at the end of the day. Our recent graduates, now enrolled in high school, are frequent visitors. Evening classes open to the community are in the works. Long distance learning in partnership with Education Departments at the University of Belize, Christopher Newport University, Vancouver University, Gainesville State College and others is closer to becoming a reality. And even the local Police Department used the lab for intensive training! What a blessing to so many folks.
*Wonderful volunteer teams have been hard at work completing the library, providing training for teachers, building the new woodworking shop, painting, putting up railings, repairing school furniture, completing storm shutters, insulating some of the classrooms and (most importantly) spending time with our children. Many, many thanks to the following groups who have come to Holy Cross since January 1, 2009:
Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Durham, NC
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Pacific Palisades,
Duke Chapel, Duke University, Durham, NC
Southcrest Baptist Church, Lubbock, TX
St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Sunfish Lake, MN
Ambassadors for Children, headquartered in Indiana
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Raleigh, NC
*All students received full medical exams in February, including vision and hearing testing, through the efforts of medical personnel from the St. Luke’s team, Nurse Heather (from Yellowknife, Canada) and Counselor, Dr. Kim. In addition, the visiting pediatrician saw all babies in the San Mateo community. Thirty-six children have been referred for glasses (cost is $25US per child - please help!) and quite a few were referred to the local Government Clinic – one with a broken arm and one with such a terrible kidney infection that he was passing blood in his urine! All have recovered nicely.
*The folks from St. Michael’s offered an outstanding Vacation Bible School during Holy Week. School was closed but the happy sounds of children continued to be heard. We were thrilled that so many of our children were "off the streets", well cared for and engaged in learning!
*There are over 15 students already signed up to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, which will be offered on Sunday, May 24. The monthly Family Services have been averaging an attendance of over 400 students and parents. Holy Cross continues to pray for a full time priest and School Chaplain. Do you know any clergy looking forward to a sabbatical??????
*The annual Easter Fair raised a whopping $2,000 and a good time was had by all – smile!
*Dr. Kim has started an after school drumming group as a reward for daily good behavior. What a thrill to see those previously disruptive children cooperating and having such a good time!
*Numerous individuals from the local community and abroad continue to visit and volunteer their time and talents here at Holy Cross. Thanks be to God, there are too many to name but you know who you are! Many, many thanks to each of you and a special hug to the nurse who stopped by for a tour and ended up checking scrapes and bruises! Many thanks to Dr. Lerida and Dr. Dan who often treat our seriously ill students at no charge, Cullen and Kath, Laurie (alias Taco Girl), Colette, Rick and Cindy, Sally, the Philips sisters, Heather and Rick, Lynette, Judy, Joyce and Tom and countless others.
*The Feeding Program is going strong, providing nutritious (and free!) breakfast, snack, lunch and purified water every day. The Dental Clinic, under the guidance of Dr. Mark Johnson and his hygienist wife, Joan, continues to provide free dental care and treatment for students and staff at Holy Cross. Free shoes, uniforms, school supplies and book bags are still available for those in need!
Holy Cross Anglican School with five hundred and twelve students, many of whom are poor and disadvantaged, is incredibly blessed by the grace of God and the kindness of folks like you. This School is truly a miracle in action made possible by your generosity and support. We pray every day that these miracles will continue to abound and that young lives will be blessed and transformed.
In this period of economic uncertainty and the threat of global pandemic, it’s all too easy to forget just how fortunate we really are. Each day as I come to school and walk around the community of San Mateo, I pray that running water, electricity and proper sanitation will one day be available in every home. The children of San Mateo don’t have bank accounts, stocks or IRA’s to fret about. Their concerns are much more pressing. They worry about food, drinking water, shoes and clean school uniforms. They cry with toothaches, infected ears, lice and scabies. They need Christ-centered guidance, a good education, ongoing support, encouragement and plenty of hugs!
Your contribution will help provide the love, education and care these children so need. Please continue to uphold us in your prayers, visit us when you can and support us with your generous donations.
Checks made payable to “Holy Cross Anglican School” can be sent to:
Holy Cross Anglican School
San Pedro Town
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Don’t forget to visit our website for updates on Holy Cross Anglican School:
Many thanks and blessings! Francis
Labels: Miss Francis