Volunteers help expand John A. Cumber classroom

Volunteers have expanded a
classroom at John A. Cumber to 3,500 square feet in a project undertaken as
part of the Miles Ahead: Do Something World Cayman Festival.

In addition to tackling the
school’s capital works project, said a press release, volunteers hosted a
series of health education seminars, the intangible value of which could be
manifested in the students for years to come.

Explaining that the primary school
originally had been built to accommodate roughly 300 students but it now has
514 enrolled, Education Minister, Rolston Anglin, said that the expansion was
more than welcome.

“These classrooms were built years
ago, and we’ve completely outgrown their capacity. When I attended John A.
Cumber, classes ranged from 12 to 18 students. Now that number has almost

“This project couldn’t have come at
a better time. Given the government’s mandate to cut costs, the savings in
labour means that we will deliver this project significantly under budget,” he

John A. Cumber’s two-phase
expansion project is scheduled for completion this summer. The current phase
adds outer walls and electrical installations and the next phase, to be completed
after school closes for the summer, includes demolishing existing concrete

Thanking the Miles Ahead team for
their generosity, John A. Cumber Principal Joseph Wallace commented, “3,500
square feet is fantastic – totally unexpected, but absolutely appreciated.”

Minister Anglin added that
government was extremely grateful for partnerships of this kind.

“It’s allowing us to take a project
forward in a way that also highlights the traditional service nature of the
church and strengthens community involvement in education,” he said.

The team’s medical professionals
then spoke with the pupils about their diets, diabetes prevention, hypertension
and lifestyle choices. Medical Team Chief Joshua Kirby explained that the
topics were chosen because data released by the Cayman Islands Health Services
Authority last September showed that childhood obesity was a growing problem in
the Cayman Islands.

“In fact, the findings showed that
one in every five children ages 11 to 14 is overweight,” he noted.

During the seminars a nurse on the
team used felt boards to present diet information and discussed ways to address
hypertension. A diabetes expert presented blood glucose sticks, showed the
children how they worked, and how sugar flows through the body. Another team
led a discussion on abstinence and healthy lifestyle choices.

The medical team members also left
an educational activity and colouring book, which they developed, with the

The Do Something World initiative
was founded by pastor and author Miles McPherson, and brought to Cayman by the
Cayman Islands Ministers Association. During each campaign Miles Ahead partners
with business, civic and church leaders to find sustainable solutions to
community problems, by harnessing the life-changing power of volunteering.

For more information, visit


San Diegan volunteers and Public Works Department electrical technicians worked side by side.
Photo: Submitted