Following on the donation of two hundred (200) digital tablets in November last year, an impressive three hundred and seventy-five (375) additional devices have been donated to support the remote learning needs of students in St. Lucia.
The donations were all made by the Tarr family - loyal guests of Sandals Resorts and avid supporters of the resorts philanthropic arm - Sandals Foundation.
A beaming Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at Sandals Foundation shared delight, noting that it is the support of guests such as the Tarrs that help make the work of the foundation possible.
“When we at the foundation talk about our mission to empower our Caribbean people, inspire hope and develop communities, we strongly depend on the support of every member of our team, partners and guests like the Tarrs, to help make it all possible,” Clarke said.
“We are humbled”, Clarke continued, “By the commitment of Marylou and Tom who have not only fallen deeply in love with the unparalleled beauty of St. Lucia and its people, but have made significant investments into the development of key sectors – including education.” Clarke said.
Since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the educational landscape in the island has experienced significant changes with digital devices and remote learning leading the transformation.
In accepting the new donations, Dr. Fiona Mayer, Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education said, “The reality on the ground is that while we push for google classrooms, we have families with three of four children using one device that is possibly outdated… the data is alarming,” she went on to say. “But we are always cognizant of the difference that people can make. And this is why we applaud the Sandals Foundation. We applaud the donors who have felt it necessary. These devices will go to children in all eight districts on island.”
Marylou Tarr expressed delight in knowing the tablets are almost in the hands of students.
“We are so happy to help the children. The money for the tablets came from Tom’s mother. She and his dad have been traveling to St. Lucia with us over the past 5 years and love it as much as we do,” she said.
Last year, the Tarr family donated towards 200 digital devices being distributed to a cross section of students in the island including pupils in eight (8) schools, children with disabilities at the Child Development and Guidance Centre, and youth in the marginalized community of Wilton Yard which is part of the Safe Spaces programme of RISE (St. Lucia) Inc.
The devices were provided through the Sandals Foundation’s Lessons Alive social media campaign aimed at helping to meet the remote learning needs across the Caribbean.