Teachers at the Villa Primary School are now better equipped to provide the highest quality education to their students following a generous donation by Sandals Grande Antigua guests Jeff and Aleshia Figgins, who raised over US$4,200 to purchase the supplies.
The Figgins, who were married in Antigua in 2013, have been returning here annually ever since. In between vacations, the couple from Bangor, Maine, raised funds to help supply the school with its wish list.
Jeff said he and his wife first visited Villa Primary as part of the Sandals Foundation’s popular Reading Road Trip.
The Reading Road Trip is a an activity facilitated by the Sandals Foundation that allows guests of Sandals and Beaches resorts to visit local schools and read with the children as well as donate school supplies to help with their development.
“We happened across a flyer about the Reading Road Trip and we thought, ‘hey we could do that, that might be fun’ but after we came to Villa School and saw the way the teachers taught, how disciplined the students were and how they listened and learned it changed our lives,” Jeff said to a gathering of teachers and students on Tuesday.
The couple went home and raised funds to buy schools supplies for students the next year.
While last year they brought enough school supplies for every child in the school of over 300 students to receive something, this year the Figgins chose to support the teachers who are charged with molding the young minds.
“We brought down as much as we could but when we got home we didn’t feel full,” Jeff told students. “We wanted to do something for the teachers too.”
This year they donated computer software and accessories, laptops, cameras, flash drives, flash cards, pens and games.
Jeff, a Physiotherapist and Aleshia, a Dental Hygienist, placed posters of their fundraising efforts on the walls in their offices inviting clients to contribute to the effort. Some gave from as little as US$40 to as much as US$1,000.
“More and more people came into our office and donated their money, and we told them everything that we were buying and more people wanted to help, especially the teachers that we know. They wanted to give back to you because they saw what you did to us and they wanted to be a part of it,” Jeff said.
Villa Primary Principal Sandra Felix accepted the donations on behalf of the school.
“We at Villa School are so appreciative of what you do for us every year. We know that you love Villa School as your own and we want to thank you for all of your donations over the years,” she said surrounded by students and teachers wearing big smiles