Sandals Foundation Erects Fence at Buckleys Primary School

(from left to right) Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel Manager Leighton Josephs, Butler Karen Grenado-Wong, an employee of Sandals who submitted the project proposal for the fence, Buckleys Agricultural Science Teacher Odacia Dennis, and Principal Monica Drew cut the ribbon and officially declared the fenced farm plot open.


Agricultural education at the Buckleys Primary School received much-needed support thanks to
the Sandals Foundation which has recently erected a 50ft by 50ft fence and gate around an
agricultural plot on the school compound which is farmed by students.

The project was executed as part of the Sandals Foundation Team Member Support Project, a
programme which invites employees at Sandals and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean to
advocate for projects in their communities worthy of receiving funding.

Through a competition that was run last year among Sandals Grande Antigua team members, resort butler Karen Grenado-Wong submitted the winning proposal to build the fence at the school.

Students of the Buckleys Primary School harvest some of the ripe cherry tomatoes grown by them at the school’s agricultural plot which has been fenced by the Sandals Foundation.

Buckleys Principal Monica Drew expressed her gratitude to both the Sandals Foundation and
Grenado-Wong whose daughter attends the school, for making her wish for a fence a reality.
“We think the fence is very important and vital. It is an encouragement for the children and the
agriculture programme as well,” Drew said. “It will take our programme further. We can have
more banks in the gardens and get different kinds of slips growing.”
Drew noted that the general school compound is unfenced and they have had problems with
pest and animals getting into the crop farm.

(back row from left) Sandals Foundation volunteer Jhavline Montoban-Patrick, Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel Manager Leighton Josephs, Buckleys Agricultural Science Teacher Odacia Dennis, Sandals Antigua Butler Karen Grenado-Wong and children of the Buckleys Primary School pose with the cherry tomatoes harvested from the farm tended to by the students.

“The plants, especially like the lettuce, those are very soft. With that, we need the fence for
protection because the entire compound is not fenced. Even people who might want to loiter
and venture to pull up our plants. We needed that type of protection,” Drew said.
At present, the students plant corn, chive, cassava, cherry tomatoes, spinach, okra, sweet
peppers and bananas. All 113 students at the school participate in agriculture using both
textbook theory and practical experience. The students are also encouraged to compost organic

Every year, The Sandals Foundation provides financial support to one project per resort as part
of the Team Member Support Project. Once the project is approved by the foundation’s
Advisory Board and Board of Directors, the foundation supports the employee with the
execution of the project.

“This is important to us because our team members play an integral role in everything that we
are able to do in communities across the region. The basis of these support projects are to
enable our team members to give back to their communities and our financial backing allows
them to do that,” Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation.
A surprised Grenado-Wong was overjoyed when she received news that her project was chosen
as the 2017 winner. “I am just happy to support the school. I really believe in what they are
doing and I see how excited the students, like my daughter, are to be learning and farming.”

The Kindergarten class of the Buckleys Primary School performed a poem entitled “thank you” to show their gratitude to the Sandals Foundation for the construction of a fence around a farming plot at the school.

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  1. Good work. Respect what the school is doing for the children. Teach them to feed themselves

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