Tears of joy

Proud parents grateful daughters received scholarships for primary school

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 05, 2018

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SHAMYRA Powell was moved to tears yesterday as she watched her five-year-old daughter Sue-Ann Harris collect her prizes at the school-leaving ceremony for Denham Town Infant School in west Kingston.

The young achiever, who will be attending Denham Town Primary School in September, received the most outstanding student and top speller prizes. She was also one of two scholarship recipients as well as the fourth-place finisher in the recently concluded Quality Education Circle Spelling Bee competition, which included all infant schools in west Kingston.

The Chi Chi Bud Foundation Scholarships, offered by Dr Rebecca Tortella — former Prime Minister Edward Seaga's niece — to Sue-Ann and her schoolmate Larona Bailey will cover expenses associated with primary school for one year. Both girls also received backpacks with books and other school supplies.

Sue-Ann's brilliance was quite evident during the ceremony yesterday, as she read one of the scriptures and delived the vote of thanks.

Her proud mother, who was seen cheering her young scholar on, was at one point overcome with joy.

“I actually cried today to see my little five-year-old do her stuff. She told me that she was going to do her best and to see her go in the Spelling Bee and come fourth, and she keep on being dedicated to her work, I am really a proud mommy today,” Powell told the Jamaica Observer after the ceremony.

The mother of three, including a seven-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl, said Sue-Ann's siblings, who were once “A students” are now looking up to their younger sister.

Powell also expressed gratitude for her daughter's scholarship.

“I felt so excited because things are kind of rough, and seeing Sue-Ann push out that much; she is so dedicated and I am overexcited for her and grateful for the scholarship,” she said.

The mother, who was unable to complete high school after she became pregnant at 15, underscored the importance of getting a good education, noting that it is the best thing any parent can do for their child.

According to Powell, who is now pursuing a course in beauty therapy, both her and the children's father are committed to ensuring that they get the best education possible.

“No matter what, children must have education and even when I don't have nuh lunch money, mi gi dem some snacks and send dem same way,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Yesterday's school-leaving ceremony was also a proud moment for Larona's mother, Angella Solmon, who is a single parent of three.

Larona, six, copped the awards for most improved student, top speller and most helpful.

“I am so proud of Larona, I can't even put it into words and I feel so happy about the scholarship. I can't tell you how happy I am about it,” she said.

In the meantime, Principal May Pinnock-Mitchell, who had high praises for both girls, said they were selected based on their overall attendance, academic studies, politeness, and behaviour, as well as the level of support from their parents.

“Larona, she was very slow but she worked hard and she did well in all three terms and topped her class. Sue-Ann was also hard-working; she is the in-house top speller. She, too, topped her class,” the principal said.

Pinnock-Mitchell also heaped praises on the two girls' parents, especially Larona's mother.

“Larona's mother, she is very hard-working and though she is a single parent, she ensures that her two girls are at school every day. Every field trip those two girls are there, every homework is done and she will come with $500 every day until the school fee is paid,” she said.

Sue-Ann and Larona were among 23 students who graduated from Denham Town Infant School yesterday.

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