5 years ago, we set out with an eye on July 1, 2016. We dreamed big. You believed in us. The Sharing Solutions fundraising campaign was launched with a Big, Audacious Goal and a belief that a small dedicated group of people can change the world. You did it!
What did you accomplish in the last 5 years? Since July 2011 Island School turned 15 years old, graduated its 1,500th leader, and Deep Creek Middle School graduated its 150th. You helped us finish building our science research campus and Cape Eleuthera Institute turned 10 years old. We’ve hosted thousands of students on short courses and internships – some of whom kept coming back up to 10 different times! You helped us save for a rainy day. You made sure that a third of families in each semester had the financial aid support to make their experience possible. You helped us start an Early Learning Center on campus and our engineering and communications teachers got a home and space to do their work. You helped us upgrade our boat and van fleet. You more than tripled our endowment to $6 million. You helped us invest in people and businesses here in South Eleuthera, and launch teachers and staff off into new careers. You met the overall goal of $15 million to make all of this possible – and surpassed it by over 30% through commitments in place for the next 5 years. Many of you through Sharing Solutions have invested and pledged to secure 10 full years of financial aid, professional development, and great educational experiences – over more than half of the life of our young endeavor.
Each gift helped – over 5,000 different times you made a choice in the last 5 years to make sure we thrive and grow and achieve all that you believed we could do.
Your legacy is profound. We are honored and tremendously grateful. Please come see what you’ve done – and help us celebrate in the coming year! https://vimeo.com/162191538
From Chris and Pam and the extended Island School family,
Drew Fink (F’05) gets pinned by Chris and Pam Maxey during the evening celebrations hosted by longtime supporters Les and Wendy Morris
In January, the Board of Directors for The Island School gathered in West Palm Beach, Florida for one of their three annual meetings. The purpose of the gathering was to celebrate transitions and alumni energy as well as share ideas on the direction and focus of the school as we head into 2016. Alumnus Drew Fink (F’05) was pinned with the starfish as he was welcomed into the ranks of the Board during this, his first meeting. Alums have consistently shown strong leadership and passion for The Island School and its mission of Leadership Effecting Change by volunteering for the Board. Drew was welcomed by returning Island School alums on the Board:
Francesca Forrestal (F’99), Thatcher Spring (F’99), Meg Bunn (F’01), Johann Scheidt (S’02), Nick DelVecchio (F’02), Greg Henkes (S’03) and Peter Meijer (S’05)
Chris Maxey talks with Board members Ande Frost (Parent F’04, S’09, S’13) and Greg Henkes (S’03)
Do you want to be part of the The Island School’s Board and play a significant role in the vision, direction and execution of the future of the school? We are reaching out to all Island School, Cape Eleuthera Institute, and Deep Creek Middle School alumni who are at least two years removed from college and would like to submit an application to the nomination committee. If you would like to be considered, and you are passionate about what we do, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume and cover letter describing your interest. The basic requirements for membership are as follows:
Minimum of two years of experience in the work force.
Demonstrated service to the organization after your semester/summer term.
Skill set or demonstrated interest relevant to the work of the Board.
Consistent participation in CONCHtribution, the annual alumni giving campaign.
Accepting of financial obligations surrounding travel to meetings and other board engagements.
If you are interested, we can send you the Board’s handbook for you to learn more about what the expectations for a potential two year commitment entail. The two primary expectations that are held of all Board members are attendance of all three annual meetings (Boston, MA in October, Nassau, Bahamas in January and Eleuthera itself in April) at your own expense, and that The Island School is within your top 3 philanthropic commitments. If you have any questions or simply want to know more, please do not hesitate to reach out to email@example.com and we will respond as soon as possible.
Recently, the Cape Eleuthera Institute supported the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) for their first ever BREEF Eco-Schools Youth Environmental Leadership Summit in Nassau. The Cape Eleuthera Island School is an important model for schools and businesses in the Bahamas on experiential education, sustainable development, and scientific research. Participation in this event gave the opportunity to share this knowledge with 70 students from eighteen schools in Abaco, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and New Providence. CEI Environmental Educator and Outreach Coordinator, Tiffany Gray, was able to lead two sessions, one for primary students and another for secondary, focusing on team building, sharks and opportunities here in Cape Eleuthera. There was also a booth set up throughout the two day summit for more information on educational programs, summer camps, BESS, the Plastic Summit in June, and future employment opportunities.
A notable announcement during the welcoming remarks came from Minister Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment. He explained that the newly amended Electricity Act now makes it legal for the public to connect their houses, schools, and businesses, to the grid for credit through alternative energy! We have been doing this for years on campus but the fact that it is now legal is a huge step in the right direction for energy use in the Bahamas.
The Preston H. Albury High School (PHAHS) Eco club, originally inspired by Kristal Ambrose, former plastic researcher and education coordinator at CSD, is working hard to become a green flag certified Eco School. Our continued support for this club gives DCMS alumni at PHAHS and former DCMS teacher, Will Simmons, much appreciated support in this endeavor.
The summit was a huge success for BREEF and our participation played a pivotal role in the event. We look forward to collaborating with BREEF, PHAHS, and future Eco Schools in Eleuthera for the next summit in 2017!
Hi! My name is Simeon Bethel and I am a 13-year-old youth activist that attends the Deep Creek Middle School and I am passionate about the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. At my school, I am part of the Eco-Club where I am treasurer. Our school’s Eco-Club is what initiated our green flag certification and DCMS was the first school in the English speaking Caribbean to be certified with the green flag. We have solar panel water heaters and fan switches that regulate the amount of time a fan can be left running in order to prevent them from continuously running throughout the day–to save energy. The Eco-club also orchestrates many different beach cleanups and events that inform the public about the damages that plastic pollution has on our environment and beautiful waters.
To support our learning as leader and environmental activists, myself and three other students were given the privilege to travel to Dana Point, California to attend the Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions (POPS) Conference. This event took place on February 27 to March 1, 2015. At this conference, many other youth activists from all over the world came to share their own projects or solutions to plastic ocean pollution. There were many inspirational speakers about the topic of plastic ocean pollution and also many world renowned scientists that have made remarkable discoveries and advancements towards solving the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.
This whole event took months and months of planning, project finalizing, brainstorming and orchestration. The Deep Creek Middle School’s project is to have large-scale beach cleanups on certain beaches and then install proper signage on the beaches. For example, one might say, “150 Pounds of Plastic was Collected from Lighthouse Point Beach. Please Help us in Our Effort to Keep These Wondrous Treasures Clean, Green and Pristine”. Also, prior to and during our trip to California, the Eco-Club started to think about the fact that cleaning the beaches is not the answer to all of our problems–it is simply helping the cause. We decided that we should also inform the public. We should inform the people that don’t really know that much about plastic and its harmful effects on the environment. By educating the population of this island, and hopefully The Bahamas, it will target and stop the problem of plastic ocean pollution at the core.
Thankfully, this conference that we attended allowed us to improve our project to get the best and most effective results out of the whole event. All in all, the Plastic Ocean Pollution Solution Conference was an amazing experience for me, my peers that attended, our teacher who came with us and all of the other inspirational speakers and students that attended. It was definitely an inspiring and life-changing event. Keep an eye out for DCMS’s Plastic Pollution initiatives and join us by being part of the solution.
Last week, 15 students from Deep Creek Middle School and 34 students from Preston H. Albury High School attend a joint Eco-Club event last night at the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in Governors Harbour. With a whopping 49 students, we made about half of the audience for the lecture by John Mylroie on Caves & Blue Holes in the Bahamas.
Before the lecture students had an hour to check out the preserve and practice some of their terrestrial plant identification with a contest on who can ID the most plants. The freshwater wetland area with turtles was, of course, a huge hit for students. Hiking through bromeliad filled coppice was also especially exciting just as the sun was setting.
Mr. Mylroie, an incredible geologist, may have used some big science-y words but students were exposed to information on how geologic formations formed with change in sea level, extracting fresh water from wells, and ways to preserve these precious formations found all over The Bahamas.
This past Saturday, the Deep Creek Middle School Early Act and Eco Club teamed up with Preston Albury High School’s newly formed Eco-club to sort plastics 1, 2, and 5. It wasn’t the prettiest job sorting plastic bottles, food containers, and removing bottle caps from a few hundred bottles, but we made it fun with a competition between 3 groups to see who could sort the most!
All plastics will be sent to Cans for Kids in Nassau and then sent to the States for recycling. Cans for Kids is a Bahamian non profit that recycles cans, and now plastics as well, to raise money for schools and youth organizations. This event was an effort to spruce up the recycle center at the South Eleuthera Emergency Partners, SEEP, in Tarpum Bay to implement a One Eleuthera grant funded recycle program in schools in South Eleuthera in the next few months.
We had 22 students from both schools and 9 adults from One Eleuthera, Cape Eleuthera Institute, Deep Creek Middle School, Rotaract Club of Eleuthera, and the Rotary Club of Eleuthera.
This year, Deep Creek Middle School students chose to tackle a bigger issue when planning their Junkanoo theme. Graduating students in grade 9 brainstormed a number of creative and colourful ideas, but finally settled on the title, “Save our Seas.” The idea was inspired by Grade 9 Destinee Outten’s up-cycled fashion design: a plastic bag skirt fastened by a colourful band of Capri Sun juice bags. We decided to run with the idea by combining traditional Junkanoo materials like crepe paper, glue, cardboard, wire and glitter with reusable materials, like beach plastic, plastic bags and Capri Sun containers. Ultimately, the students would be wearing an environmental awareness campaign.
The grade 7 girls evolved into Plastic Pollution Princesses, adorned with plastic tutus, hot pink sashes and purple crowns. The grade 8 and 9 girls transformed into Bahamian sea species: turtles, sharks, jellies, sea stars and eagle rays. The drummers wore the nation’s colors of gold, blue and black, as Bahamian sea kings.
Our free dancers wore costumes that were meant to raise awareness of overfishing practices. One of our dancers wore a “Responsible Fishing” shoulder piece, with images of spiny-tailed lobsters and closed fishing dates. One free dancer wore a massive conch costume; another wore a spectacular invasive lion fish piece.
Overall, the night was a huge success. The kids invested an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm into their performance!
As part of the National Day on Writing celebrations, Deep Creek Middle School students wrote reviews of their favorite books. Seventh graders Khiara Knowles and Alicia Albury had their reviews published by Amazing Kids! Magazine. We are so proud of them and thrilled they got the opportunity to publish for an authentic audience.
You can read their reviews here: http://mag.amazing-kids.org/category/non-fiction/reviews/
For the past five years, the National Council of Teachers of English has declared October 20th the National Day on Writing. This holiday celebrates the importance of writing in our daily lives. Deep Creek Middle School decided to make the day international and devoted the afternoon to fun writing activities that fit with the theme, “Write My Community.”
The students rotated through three stations that focused on different writing styles. In one station, students wrote poems based on George Ella Lyon’s poem, “Where I’m From.” The students changed the words to describe life in The Bahamas, which Jade Knowles of Tarpum Bay enjoyed. “I like the ‘Where I’m From’ poems because you can describe yourself in a different and unusual way,” says Knowles.
Other activities included travel writing about Eleuthera or places they have visited, as well as writing book reviews. The emphasis was on writing for fun, without worrying about grades. Rock Sound’s Rekenley Preneus appreciated that aspect, saying, “There’s no right or wrong answer, so it feels comfortable.”
Deep Creek Middle School plans to continue celebrating the National Day on Writing in the future. Principal Odette Pretty says, “It’s nice to be international about creating a space for students to express themselves creatively and celebrate their inner writers.”