Prisoners answer the bell to help primary school

| 29/08/2016
CNS Local Life

Principal Marie Martin and prisoners work side by side to unload a container of supplies

(CNS): One recent Saturday morning, a group of prisoners from HMP Northward came out to help George Town Primary School principal Marie Martin in unloading containers that had been packed since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 with items salvaged from the school. Martin had contacted Richard Barton, a manager at the prison, for assistance in unloading, sorting and disposing of what were assumed to be water-damaged and infested old furniture and school supplies.

Barton coordinated the nine volunteers who worked through a 40-foot container packed solidly to the top with what turned out to be mostly useable books, equipment and furniture. Despite the harsh sun plus extreme heat inside the container, the prisoners assisted in what they said was a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Two of the prisoners had actually attended George Town Primary as youngsters. Martin remembered both prisoners well, recalling that even at that age having taught them personally when they attended, they were good boys.

One prisoner recalled Martin fondly as a “mother figure” who really seemed to care for him. “I would do anything to help Ms Martin out,” he said. “She is one of the few people left in the world that cares for her students. Even when I attended George Town Primary, I must say she tried hard with me.”

The young man said that he would encourage all the students of the school and in the local community to do everything they could to stay out of trouble and take advantage of the opportunities they are given.

The prisoners were only able to complete work on one container but have already signed up to return to assist with the others.

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Category: Primary School, Prison Service

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great. Instead of hiring outside help, the schools should utilise… actually government on a whole should utilise the prisoners more often. I’m sure they could be of help in small construction projects, road and beach clean up, etc.