Father of 14-y-o volunteer teacher urges men to stick by their children

KEVIN Peart, father of 14-year-old Ferncourt High School student Kelvin Peart, who has been conducting classes to help primary school children in the community of Queenhythe in St Ann, has called on fathers to be pillars of support and strength for their children.

While having his own schoolwork to complete, the 14-year-old teaches classes from an abandoned bar that was cleaned to facilitate 16 students since May. Four of those students recently returned to their school, bringing the number down to 12. The roof of that old bar, leaked badly up to recently, but like a superhero to the rescue, the father tied a tarpaulin to sections of it to keep rain out and allowed the classes to continue.

According to the elder Peart, if he had to use his own body to block rain from pouring in on his son and his students, he would be more than willing to do so.

“The roof is very bad but I kinda have it under control. I got a tarpaulin and covered it. If I could go on top of that roof and lay down and cover it, I would do it for my son. I am very proud of him.

“Him mek mi feel proud like a king, and so I encourage all the fathers out there to step up for their kids so they can be a proud man like me. I knew he could do it. Kelvin don’t like come second in anything. If it is not first place, him cry. If him get ‘wrong bang’ him tear out the pages and dash them weh. His godfather Paul Duncan organised everything.

“You have kids who are six years old and when Kelvin asked them how old they were, they said three, to show you how much they were far behind. I don’t pressure him. I ensure that a morning time me get up and help him clean up the place and get it ready for the kids. I don’t pressure him, but I push him,” he told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview.

Kelvin underscored the importance of family support and motivation in children’s lives.

“My aunt who is a teacher inspired me. She show me how to teach them and the appropriate work. I teach the students mathematics, language arts, social studies and integrated science. I just remember what I used to get in primary school and that is what I give them. These students were left behind.

“… It’s going good, and the kids are cooperating. I started with three, the next day six, then 10, and [went up to] 16. Right now there are 12 in the class because the four grade four girls went back to school. I do this from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. I give them work first and then I attend my class.”

Just last week, Kelvin’s teaching programme received a boost when he was presented with a wide range of food items to start a canteen to provide meals from the children. It was organised by owner of the Pub at the Mayfair Hotel in St Andrew, Howard McIntosh.

According to McIntosh, he was inspired to bring various donors together to help expand Kelvin’s mission. Those donors included GraceKennedy, KFC, Flow, and Yummy Bakery.

“When I first saw the story, the fact that it was an abandoned bar, [and the fact that I own a bar] that [got my attention]. The next thing was that it’s a 14-year-old [who] was lending a huge hand to these kids in the community that are less fortunate and to be able to teach them.

“There should be more people out there like Kelvin. For persons who want to help but are afraid to step up and help, this example should bring out more people to stand up and give a helping hand in any way you can. People help by donating books, toys and groceries.”

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