Caribbean Lottery Continues Support for “Now You Know” Breakfast Programme
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten – September 11, 2019: “They need brain food.”
So says radio broadcaster Valerie van Putten-Hodge, who has partnered with the Rotary Club of St. Maarten Sunrise to support the Now You Know Breakfast Programme for children with special needs for the past five years. The Caribbean Lottery once again responded to Ms. Van Putten-Hodge’s appeal by presenting a cheque for US$2,400.00 recently.
Through this sponsorship, 35 children at the Prins Willem Alexander School in Belvedere, Sint Maarten will receive a nourishing meal at the start of their school day. Most of the children develop more slowly than the average, Ms. van Putten-Hodge explained, and so they especially need the extra support. She expressed her gratitude to Caribbean Lottery for once again stepping up in support.
“The Rotary Club approached me five years ago,” she added. “I have been assisting them ever since through my radio programmes. The children are growing up in challenging circumstances, and some of them have even told me that this is their only proper meal for the day. It is heartbreaking.” She noted that since the passage of two hurricanes in September 2017, the children’s circumstances have become even more difficult.
Ms. Paula Williams, Site Operations Manager, confirmed The Caribbean Lottery’s commitment to supporting the programme. “This is the fifth consecutive year for us, and we are happy to join with our partners who recognize the need to help these vulnerable children. There is no doubt that this programme is making an impact, helping to strengthen the students’ capacity for learning and enhancing their wellbeing in general.”
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is said. For the children at Prins Willem Alexander School, their nutritious meal consists of sandwiches, fruits and a drink – and peanut butter is usually somewhere in the mix. For hungry students who need to focus on their studies, it is indeed good brain food.
Meanwhile, Ms. van Putten-Hodge encourages more private and corporate sponsors to come on board. The popular veteran broadcaster can be heard on the Voice of Sint Maarten radio station (NYK Radio). Her two radio shows – the daily “Now You Know” and the long-running Sunday feature “What Will I Be” promote and seek sponsorship for the breakfast programme.