THE seven-year old Ardenne Alumni Foundation launched an ambitious legacy programme recently in the Ardenne Conference Room on the school compound to garner funds for numerous projects to meet the needs of the school over time to transform the lives of the students who pass through its corridors.
The legacy programme was launched with 100,000 Canadian dollars from Paul Barnett, a former student who attended the school over forty years ago and now resides in Canada.
Barnett, who made his presentation virtually, said that his time at Ardenne was a major influence on his life. He has always given back to his alma mater, going back to the 1980s with the school's first school bus. He encouraged those who can, to give back to the school.
“Number one, you can make a one-time legacy giving. Number two, you can do a yearly legacy giving. Number three, you can make a monthly legacy giving and number four, you can leave a percentage of your estate in your will to the Ardenne Alumni Foundation.”
He endorsed the building of the wellness centre which is under consideration as the first major project post the legacy programme launch.
President of the Ardenne Alumni Foundation, Flo Darby, gave details of the programme.
She said the programme was launched, “so that we can make contributions to Ardenne for many, many areas that they would like assistance, in particular we have a flagship project, our wellness centre, which is going to be a holistic centre which will house our sick bay, guidance counselling department, perhaps a psychology department. We have exciting ideas about how we could improve the mental wellness of our students and our staff as well”.
The projects and funds will be managed by directors from all the chapters as well as some Jamaican directors.
Darby said that a few other alumni have already contributed to the legacy programme prior to its launch. She also indicated that the wellness centre is expected to cost upwards of 300 million dollars.
Ardenne High School Principal Nadine Molloy was very happy to witness the launch of the programme.
“It means a lot. In a context where we are going through this pandemic and the social and emotional needs of people and, of course, in particular the needs of our students and our staff here at Ardenne is brought into sharp focus...We really do believe that there is going to be a lot support for it. I can already see our counsellors being able to offer more in a better, nicer space. I can see our school nurse being in a space that is more appropriate and able to treat the challenges that we will have with students if they fall ill at school until we are able to move them on to their primary providers.”
She mentioned other areas of the school that will need development such as technology upgrade, a small recording studio for those students who are into music, a mini theatre, an industrial arts lab and eventually an engineering arts lab, among others.