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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesPTSA Day of Service Spent Undoing Earl's Damage to School

PTSA Day of Service Spent Undoing Earl's Damage to School

If not for a small group of committed volunteers and the leadership of the local Parent Teacher Student Association, the students of Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School would not have the chance to learn about agriculture and health through their “edible school yard.”

Recent weather damage caused by Hurricane Earl and other tropical storms to local schools led to the first ever USVI-Parent Teacher Student Association Territorial Day of Community Service Saturday. A few parents, teachers and alumni brought weed whackers, machetes and manpower to clean up after Earl tore down the greenhouse, the fences to the herb garden and ruined the butterfly farm, while wind and rain caused damage to the nature trail making the outdoor classrooms unusable.

“There is a little group of people that keep the island going – environmentalists and volunteers,” said Ferdinand Abraham, a lifetime member of the St. Croix Environmental Association. He has also donated a Bobcat along with other gardening tools to maintain the edible school yard project.

The USVI-PTSA and the local Parent Teacher Association struggle to get parents more involved in the school and to volunteer their time on a Saturday, according to USVI-PTSA president Alvin Bedneau, who has been working to organize this day of community
service.

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Other schools on St. Croix such as Alfredo Andrews Elementary were supposed to participate in Saturday’s cleanup, but there were
no responses from other PTSA groups.

“It’s about communicating – parents have to communicate in order to get results,” said Sherry Barnaby, the PTSA president at Larsen for the past two years. She has even used the help of local radio stations to broadcast the message that more volunteers are needed on days like Saturday.

The gardens were started by the physical education and health teacher Vilma Bigelow to teach students the benefits of growing their own food while also teaching them about the environment. The school has had an herb garden, greenhouse, tire garden, rain garden, butterfly farm and a nature trail, all in disrepair from storm damage.

Schools on St. Thomas and St. John did not participate in this Territorial Day of Community Service, but instead organized their own volunteer events to clean up and maintain local schools, according to Bedneau.

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If not for a small group of committed volunteers and the leadership of the local Parent Teacher Student Association, the students of Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School would not have the chance to learn about agriculture and health through their “edible school yard.”

Recent weather damage caused by Hurricane Earl and other tropical storms to local schools led to the first ever USVI-Parent Teacher Student Association Territorial Day of Community Service Saturday. A few parents, teachers and alumni brought weed whackers, machetes and manpower to clean up after Earl tore down the greenhouse, the fences to the herb garden and ruined the butterfly farm, while wind and rain caused damage to the nature trail making the outdoor classrooms unusable.

“There is a little group of people that keep the island going – environmentalists and volunteers,” said Ferdinand Abraham, a lifetime member of the St. Croix Environmental Association. He has also donated a Bobcat along with other gardening tools to maintain the edible school yard project.

The USVI-PTSA and the local Parent Teacher Association struggle to get parents more involved in the school and to volunteer their time on a Saturday, according to USVI-PTSA president Alvin Bedneau, who has been working to organize this day of community
service.

Other schools on St. Croix such as Alfredo Andrews Elementary were supposed to participate in Saturday's cleanup, but there were
no responses from other PTSA groups.

“It's about communicating – parents have to communicate in order to get results,” said Sherry Barnaby, the PTSA president at Larsen for the past two years. She has even used the help of local radio stations to broadcast the message that more volunteers are needed on days like Saturday.

The gardens were started by the physical education and health teacher Vilma Bigelow to teach students the benefits of growing their own food while also teaching them about the environment. The school has had an herb garden, greenhouse, tire garden, rain garden, butterfly farm and a nature trail, all in disrepair from storm damage.

Schools on St. Thomas and St. John did not participate in this Territorial Day of Community Service, but instead organized their own volunteer events to clean up and maintain local schools, according to Bedneau.