Let’s turn this ugly duckling into beautiful swan!
Clarendon College Physics Laboratory Project
As we look to the future, it is clear that Clarendon College will continue to need the full support of its alumni. We are most pleased to be able to participate and give back to the School that gave us so much and which our parents loved so dearly. We are happy to be at it again trying, with your help, to restore another of "our Dad's buildings".
- Oonagh Stuart Greaves on behalf of the Stuart Family -
In 2008, with the Stuart Hall renovation completed, Dr. Nicola (Nikki) Bravo (grand-daughter of C. L. Stuart) and her aunt, Beverley Broderick (his daughter) turned their efforts towards helping some of the youngest Basic School students who might one day attend Clarendon College. They learned of the Summerfield Basic School - located about a mile down the hill from Clarendon College - and paid a visit. At the time the school was more than 40 years old, had a population of 41 students, two teachers and one Principal. The schoolhouse was small and very dark, with classrooms separated by a blackboard, with no bathrooms, toilets, running water or electricity. The kitchen had a lunch area with limited seating and a collapsing roof. Even more unsettling was the lack of energy noted in the students, many of whom laid their heads on the desks as the teachers tried to engage them in learning.
Summerfield Basic School - After
Summerfield Basic School - Before
They met with the Principal and decided they had to find a way to help. Immediately after that first visit on her return to the United States, Nikki "roped in" family and friends to help and “SummerFriends” was born. The group hosted a fundraiser in the DC area and generous friends contributed money to provide breakfast and lunch for the kids. Once that program was started the Principal reported that attendance, attitude and participation by the students improved greatly.
But, what to do about the building? Again family and friends were called on to help, and they, including two main donors, did not hesitate to support the effort. After realizing that we would still be short of funds for the rebuild, we approached the CHASE Foundation in Kingston and they came on board with the project, rebuilt the building and the kids now have a beautiful school with two separate classrooms, girls' and boys' washrooms, running water and electricity, an upgraded kitchen and a sick bay.
Beverley still does spot checks from time to time when she visits Summerfield on her trips to Chapelton and has always found happy kids, appreciative teachers and a well maintained building.