News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Support Public Schools Bermuda (SPS.bm) has been empowering Bermuda’s public school teachers and students with “wish list” classroom supplies since 2018.

Celebrating their fifth year in 2023, on January 17th and 18th SPS.bm will distribute $60,000 worth of new school supplies to all 18 public primary schools across the Island, in addition to second-hand good quality school and office supplies.

Since SPS.bm’s inception, more than $450,000 in new school supplies have been purchased by supporters for public primary school classrooms, and an estimated $200,000 worth of second-hand supplies, computers and furniture have been donated and distributed by the SPS.bm team.

The purchases of this term’s supplies are thanks to the support of many generous donors including SPS.bm’s major supporter, Butterfield, who has made an annual purchase of $20,000 for each of the past four years. Other generous supporters this year include Ariel Re, The Green family, Argus Insurance, Butterfield & Vallis, Chubb, Lancashire, Enstar Limited, Prime Consultants, PTIX and others, as well as kind-hearted children who have asked friends and family to donate school supplies instead of receiving birthday gifts. 

Other organizations who have donated goods in kind this school year include Canterbury Law Ltd., The Bermuda Monetary Authority, Mayflower, Liberty Global Group, Lombard Odier Trust (Bermuda) Limited and Moore/Hamilton Trust Company Ltd.

SPS founder and Director of Canterbury Law Ltd Juliana Snelling said: “The last three years have been extremely challenging for students, teachers and parents having to cope with Covid restrictions which have impacted students’ classroom learning. As a community, it is imperative that we do all we can to enhance the quality of public school education and an important part of that is providing instructional resources supplies for teachers and students. Ensuring our future generation is prepared for an increasingly competitive world is an urgent national imperative, recognizing that it takes the entire community to properly educate a child.  Public school students are also challenged by the major gap between the financial resources and opportunities available to public versus private schools, even in the good times. With the severe economic hardship suffered by many, even before the pandemic, increasing numbers of parents are struggling with the cost of basic school supplies for their children. SPS.bm continues to seek the private sector’s help to supply our school children with the resources they need to love learning and going to school.”

West Pembroke Primary Photo

Each year, SPS.bm asks primary school public teachers to submit their “wish lists” of instructional resources to bolster their students’ learning experience in the classroom. These supplies are then made available for purchase at discounted prices by SPS.bm’s two retail suppliers, AF Smith Ltd. and Phoenix Group Ltd. The stores then deliver the supplies directly to the classrooms free of charge on designated delivery days twice a year overseen by the SPS team of volunteers.

This year’s “wish list” of the most popular requested supplies include clocks, fraction bars, bean bags, noise cancelling headphones, chair pockets, zipper homework folders, glue sticks, rulers, wobble cushions, desk nametags, composition notebooks, Expo dry erase markers and many more.

In a  thank you letter for the last round of gifts received, the teachers at West End Primary School said:

“Your gifted items such as folders, copy paper, teaching resources, geometric tools, plastic coins, books etc. have supplemented our lessons and classroom activities in math, language arts, science and social studies. Our students have benefited greatly from all your gifts and supplies. This year we were also fortunate to receive much-needed first-aid kits for teachers to take outside on duty. All gifts and supplies have been put to good use! Our sincere thanks for everything.”

St David’s Primary School Principal Mr Gladstone Thompson said:“To the Team of Support Public Schools, we want to highlight our thanks for the donation of our new Principal’s desk and office chairs from Argus.  Thanks for continuing to be an invaluable partner of St David’s Primary.”

West Pembroke Primary Group

PE teacher at Victor Scott Primary School wrote: “What an awesome act of kindness! Thank you so very much to the SPS Team and all those who contributed. It has been a difficult year and so we are grateful for anything that we can use to help with the teaching and learning for our school. The donations that you have made shows that you care about the development of our young people. So, once again we say thank you!”

Ms. Snelling said: “I would like to once again express my sincere and huge gratitude to our supporters, especially the team at Butterfield, who has given so generously since our inception. We couldn’t have accomplished all we that we have during the past five years without our supporters wanting to make a big difference in the lives of so many students, teachers and families by buying much-needed supplies. We give a huge heartfelt thanks to all who give their time, resources and energy to ensure the SPS programme continues to be a success.”

George Grundmuller, President & CEO of supplier The Phoenix Stores Ltd, added: “The Phoenix Stores is delighted to continue its partnership with Support Public Schools and acknowledge the enduring accomplishments of Juliana Snelling and her team of volunteers. Indeed, shared support of this initiative has contributed to classroom success in Bermuda’s public school system. We are confident that our small function in sourcing a selection of goods, including reading and writing tools, math manipulatives, electronics and more, will play a significant role in learning success.”

CEO of retail supplier AF Smith Ltd, Tim Smith agreed, stating:

“We are honoured to be a partner of Support Public Schools (SPS.bm). Everyone here at A.F. Smith considers this effort to be so worthwhile and a wonderful investment in our future. Thanks to the generosity of donors, products that might otherwise be difficult or expensive to source are made accessible to our public schools.”

SPS.bm is proud to have been selected by The Bermudian Magazine as the 2019 winner of the Product and Service Award in the category of Company Community Project.

To learn more about how to support public education, visit www.sps.bm or e-mail SPSteam@sps.bm or tel. 296-8444 c/o Canterbury Law Ltd. SPS.bm is not a registered charity. We do not solicit funds from the Bermuda Government or public sources. Instead, supporters of SPS.bm make direct purchases of school supplies. SPS never sees, receives or handles funds. That way zero dollars are spent on administrative expenses and 100% are spent on supplies.