In an attempt to provide further learning support to Primary School aged children, the idea of a summer programme was proposed. After much discussion and investigation, Children's Expo was conceived and first implemented in 1994 at The Road Primary School.
The three Directors, Messrs. Winston Duncan, Trevor Hodge and Bren Romney, approached the project with a high degree of apprehension as it was the first summer project of its kind and the response was not known. However, we forged forward as we were convinced of the need. That year sixty-one children registered from all around the island.
Under the supervision of Mr. Trevor Hodge, Children's Expo 1994 offered English, French, Art & Craft, Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Physical & Personal Development and Music. Those two weeks were filled with excitement as the methodology employed was quite different to that used during regular school. We made it fun! We were cognizant of the fact that the children were on vacation and that we needed to teach with appealing style. The staff comprised of a team of experienced educators totalling over 90 years of teaching experience.
Mr. Hodge noted that the high of his year was a significant reduction in misbehaviour as compared to regular school. He attributes this to the fact that most children were in a new environment coming from other schools and had new peers. He also noted that this was a major plus as more in-class work was achieved.
The demand grew so in 1995 Children's Expo was again staged, this year under Mr. Bren Romney's supervision and with a total of 71 island -wide registrants. The subject areas were similar to that of the previous year with the addition of dance and drama.
Mr. Romney felt that there was a need to tap the artistic potentials of all the children, but especially those who were slower academically. This was well received by both students and parents as was evident at that year's closing ceremony.
The children went out stunning their parents with their artistic talents. One parent commented how impressed she was at what was achieved in a mere two weeks. From steel pan playing to dance; from drama to choral speaking, the students all showcased their talents to an appreciative audience. Being year two of the French programme the students had developed their conversational skills considerably. "Qu'est-ce-que tu as fait hier", one nine year old asked her father. With a bewildered look on his face, he said " child I don't have a clue as to what you are saying!"
One 1995 high point was being able to contribute something back to the school which had so willingly hosted Children's Expo. At the closing ceremony, The Road Primary School received a cordless phone. It was administratively awkward for the Principal to be on her routine class checks and unable to take her phone calls in the office. One function suffered as the result of the other and this triggered the need to provide this phone, which had a range to cover the entire campus.
However, the telephone met with misfortune when the School functioned as a shelter during Hurricane LUIS. Someone entered the Principal's locked desk and stole the base of the phone, rendering it unusable. The phone was replaced during the closing ceremony of the 1996 Children's Expo.
Children's Expo 1996 saw some significant improvements. Not only did the roll increase to seventy-seven but an Infants/Pre-Primary Department was implemented to cater to students entering Primary School that September. Intended to give those students a feel of their new work demands and acquaint them with a school environment, the teachers claim that the children definitely exhibited a readiness for Primary level work through their keen interest and ability shown in assignments. This year's Co-ordinating Director Mr. Winston Duncan, regarded the positive approach to work by students and the continued positive view of those parents involved, as the highlights of the 1996 Children's Expo program.
Children's Expo 97 was the realisation of a dream come true. This year Expo was able to make a vital contribution to the Road Primary School, while maintaining the high level of academic achievement, for which it is well known. Children’s Expo co-ordinated the development of the Teacher Resource Centre by bringing partners in education together with a common interest/goal, hence strengthening the scope for positive development. Under the theme - ‘aiming towards excellence in education while strengthening ties between partners in education’ the Teacher Resource Centre of the Road Primary School was officially opened on August 1st, 1997.
Good behaviour, academic and social productivity continue to be the hallmark of Children's Expo. Students continue to strive for excellence as they use part of their summer vacation in constructive activity. In retrospect, this annual exercise can be summed up as being simply rewarding as noted by the many repeat students who register year after year.
The diversified programme, energetic staff and determined students are the three components that complete this progressive triad. Credit must be given to the parents as well as commendations to the Ministry and Department of Education, who endorse the programme. Glowing halos go to the business community for their continued patronage and a special tribute to this year's tutors for their invaluable contributions: