Academy’s link to school in Gambia

Youngsters chartered with Rotary club'University Academy, Holbeach'11/07/12'Youngsters chartered with rotary [front] Mark Hill, Sue Scorthorne, Elisabeth Matthews 11, Moira Bartlett, Andrew Bines.
Youngsters chartered with Rotary club'University Academy, Holbeach'11/07/12'Youngsters chartered with rotary [front] Mark Hill, Sue Scorthorne, Elisabeth Matthews 11, Moira Bartlett, Andrew Bines.
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TEACHERS from University Academy Holbeach are to fly out to Africa in January to strengthen their students’ links with a school in The Gambia.

Head of maths Jackie Hallett and colleague Jacqui Sestein want to see the Gambian school for themselves so the academy can give more targeted aid.

Mrs Hallett first heard of the school when Holbeach students took part in a shoebox appeal where tiny gifts are packed up to be sent to needy children in far off countries.

But ties are being further strengthened now The Rotary Club of Holbeach is fostering a group of “baby Rotarians” within the academy and encouraging them to broaden their horizons by helping good causes at home and abroad.

The teachers are flying to Gambia at their own expense and the trip may one day pave the way for students to go there too.

So far the academy has raised money to help the Gambian school buy classroom equipment including books.

Mrs Hallett said: “Over there, they would give an arm and a leg to have the opportunities we have here. Long term, we hope that the sixth form can go out to The Gambia and make a difference there.”

The academy’s young Rotarians have been given an official charter by the Holbeach club and they have elected officers, including a chairman Elisabeth Matthews (11).

Among good causes students are helping at home are Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Exotic Pet Refuge at Deeping St James.

Students collected used postage stamps for the cancer charity, learning the value of recycling and that unwanted things can be turned into cash to help people in need.

They have also visited the refuge which houses unwanted pets like the alligator mistakenly bought as a lizard by an innocent owner.

Mrs Hallett said the academy hopes its carpentry students may be able to give the centre practical help one day by building animal pens.