Friday, September 27, 2019

“Keep a cool head” project kicks off at Port St. Maarten

Sint Maarten - Project Keep a cool head had its official kick off this Thursday September 26th  at the Port of St. Maarten. The harbor is the first local company to contribute to this project providing air-conditioned classrooms for the students of Sint Maarten. Keep a cool head aims to provide all classrooms of the Milton Peters College (MPC) with air-conditioning. Currently, 22 MPC classrooms are not air-conditioned.

A Facebook video by MPC teacher Femke Neunzig urging for change of this situation went viral on September 12th. In this video, she states that teachers and students suffer from the heat. She states, ‘We teach in 35 degrees [95ͦ F]. The kids are getting aggravated by the heat. They cannot function up to their full potential. […] It takes a community to help these kids. We are raising the youth of St. Maarten’. In response to this video, several businesses of St. Maarten volunteered to sponsor the air-conditioning units needed to cool the classrooms.

The idea of Keep a cool head is that former MPC students ‘adopt’ a classroom, thus providing funding for the solar panels and air-conditioning units. The classroom will be named after the adopting company and the resume of the adopting employee (and former MPC student) will be hung on the wall inside the classroom as inspiration to current MPC students.

The first classroom to be ‘adopted’ will be named the ‘Port St. Maarten classroom’. The resume of former student Silvio Martes, now Compliance Officer at the Port, will be on the wall, hopefully giving students a positive impulse and perspective to invest in their future.

The Keep a cool head project team, consisting of three MPC students, three MPC teachers and three employees of Baker Tilly will be running the ‘adopt a classroom’ and crowdfunding program to raise approximately USD 160,000. The 22 classrooms that are up for adoption should raise USD 110,000. The remainder will be funded through crowdfunding and contributions.

Interested parties for either adopting, sponsoring and supplying the project are encouraged to contact Baker Tilly for more information. Also, a public tender will take place. For further information and/or questions, please contact the Baker Tilly Corporate Social Responsibility team (+17215242833, vanengelen@bakertillysxm.com).

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