BELIZE CITY, Wed. Oct. 25, 2018– Popular entertainer, Leela Vernon, the Brukdown Queen of Belize, has been honored by the Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow, and Stella Maris School. On Monday, October 22, 2018, the Leela Vernon Music Center at Stella Maris School was inaugurated in her memory.
In an interview with us today at the school, the principal, Kareema Arnold Oshon, said that their aim was to inaugurate the music center on Vernon’s birthday on October 21, but since that day was a Sunday the inauguration was held on Monday. Oshon said that most of the musical instruments for the school were donated to the center by the Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow. She said that music will be a subject in the curriculum at the school, and it will be taught to all students. A musician from the Belize Defence Force Band has agreed to teach the students twice per week.
Shyne Barrow is not the only benefactor of the Leela Vernon Music Center. Oshon said that many persons and organizations contributed, and she wants to say a heartfelt thanks to the Musical Ambassador, and to Senator Lee Mark Chan, who donated the organ, and to the Belize Defence Force, among others.
Oshon said that music will be a good complement to the other subjects in the curriculum at Stella Maris. Oshon told us that woodwork, taught by Rondell Samuels, is another important subject at Stella Maris. She said students are taught workplace safety, identification of woods, and how to use hand and electrical tools. Oshon said that students are given monthly projects, and at the end of their training they are able to build chairs, tables, and other furniture.
Oshon told us that other important subjects taught at the school are Integrated Academics, Reading, Computer Studies, Cooking, Food Preparation, and Sewing. All the subjects taught at Stella Maris are for boys and girls, and at the completion of their studies the students are well-trained and can work for themselves, or they can be employed. All students from lower to post-primary levels must participate in the woodwork unit.
Oshon told us that the school is divided into four units, which are, Lower Division (for infants), Middle Division, Upper Division, and Post-Primary. The school assists students with job placements after they complete their studies, and this is done in 3 phases. Oshon said that at the beginning, students are introduced to the workplace for one morning; then they are sent for one day, and then for a week, after which they are ready to take up full employment.