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FLOBAH Chapter of Godfrey Stewart High School’s Impact of the Breakfast Program

by Howard Campbell

MIRAMAR – The principal of a once-troubled Jamaican high school, credits its breakfast program for a turnaround in fortunes. That program is sponsored by past students of Godfrey Stewart High School, who are based in South Florida and The Bahamas.

Since 2013, the school’s Florida/Bahamas (FLOBAH) Chapter has funded the program which currently provides breakfast to 450 of the 1,600 students.

It has worked wonders, according to Emily Lawrence Ricketts, principal at Godfrey Stewart High School which is located in rural Westmoreland parish, western Jamaica.

Godfrey Stewart High School Alumni
Devon Dobson, president of the Florida/Bahamas (FLOBAH) Chapter, flanked by his executive at their Dinner and Dance on November 4 at Miramar Civic Center.

“FLOBAH’s outreach has become a source of hope and a beacon of light for the institution. As a school, we were grappling with attendance and punctuality for a long time and the breakfast program has made significant strides in stemming those  problems,” she said in an interview with South Florida Caribbean News. “We also have a number of students who come to school many days and they have no meal for the entire day. The breakfast program also serves to give those students at least one hot meal for the day.”

Lawrence Ricketts disclosed that breakfast is served from 7:00-7:55 a.m, by volunteers. While students await their meals, they are required to look over their notes and assignments.

The breakfast programme has helped improve punctuality and attendance of students by more than 40 percent, and more graduates qualify for college.

The main source of funding for the breakfast program comes from FLOBAH’s annual dinner and dance which took place this year on November 4 at Miramar Civic Center.

Devon Dobson, the organization’s president, said the initiative costs $1,200 to maintain. He believes it is a factor in Godfrey Stewart High School shedding its reputation for indiscipline.

“It has helped put the school on the map, in a manner that people are now choosing Godfrey Stewart as their first choice, so it shows we are heading in the right direction.”

Godfrey Stewart High School, which opened in 1963, is celebrating its 60th anniversary.


South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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