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AUGUST 20, 2010


Students face challenges returning to the classroom Publisher Randy French President Lisa Beauchamp Editorial Lisa Beauchamp Layout Jack Garstang Advertising Sales Carlita Burgess (Deputy Advertising Manager) Olga French, Diane Gilbert, Claire James Creative Services Gerri Saltus, Christina White, Colby Mederios, Shay Ford, Circulation & Distribution Nick Tavares

Bermuda Sun 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton, Bermuda HM 10 Tel 295-3902 Fax 292-5597 E-mail This special supplement is produced and published by Bermuda Sun Limited and printed in Bermuda by Island Press Limited.

Inside this supplement Literacy support network has new head Pages 2-3 Gender an issue in learning problems Pages 4-5 Early detection vital for eye problems Pages 6-7 Affordable starter laptops for students Page 8 Victim’s guide to dealing with bullies Pages 10-11 Bad influences undermining education Page 13 ‘Brain food’ for your child’s lunch box Page 16 Second chance school for adults Page 19 Importance of parent-teacher contact Page 21 Facebook guide for kids and parents Pages 24-26 Money worries when they leave home Page 28 Smartphones for back to school Page 29 Safety a priority for that first bike Pages 30-31

The Bermuda Sun publishes twice weekly and is a subsidiary of MediaHouse Limited. We are members of the Inland Press Association, International Newspaper Marketing Association and the Newspaper Association of America. We are located at: 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton HM 10; P.O. Box HM 1241, Hamilton HM FX Tel: 295-3902 Fax: 292-5597. Visit our website:


Autumn is almost upon us. Certainly, the back-toschool season is. This is the time of year for new beginnings, when anything is possible. Like putting on a new uniform, students can position themselves anew as they become familiar with the expectations of new teachers and are exposed to new subjects and new classmates. Parents can take a renewed interest in the school and build solid relationships with their children’s teachers. This 2010 issue of the Bermuda Sun’s Back To School magazine addresses these and other topics. Read Lenamay Smith’s article about the building of such parent/teacher relationships and the expectations for the student resulting from this unified front. Ms. Smith also writes about in school and cyber bullying, and what to do about it. ‘Facebook for Kids’ is another of Ms. Smith’s contributions. You’ll want to learn about this latest Internet offering. Anyone having to pack daily lunches will appreciate the difficulty in selecting foods that not only attract their children’s attention, but also their willingness to eat. Lena Ostroff helps out with her article detailing healthy lunch box choices. The Bermuda Reading Association has a new president for the year 2010/2011. My article discusses her plans for the BRA and the greater awareness the association hopes to engender in the community it serves of teachers, parents and

other stakeholders. I follow this up with a profile of reading recovery and learning support as viewed by educator/researcher, Rebecca Van Homan. The Adult Education School figures, here, in grown-up dreams that might have been delayed, but never let go of. And thanks to executive director, Donna Daniels, I can tell you about the programmes offered at AES. Optometrist, Dr. Jamie Burgess helped me with an article on back to school eye exams. You’ll want to learn all you can to keep your children’s eyes school-ready and life-ready. Bermuda Sun senior reporter, Simon Jones, looks into laptops and how to go about choosing the right one for your student’s needs. Mr. Jones also addresses the subject of transportation, specifically the bike your 16-year-old will be looking at to buy. Digicel offers a rundown on its latest cellular telephones and what your student can expect from the different models available. Parents will want to read HSBC’s suggestions for sending older children for studies abroad for the first time. The article discusses account opening, emergencies, monitoring spending and saving, and more. We are also given a primer on Bermuda’s National PTA, what it is doing and what it can do for the local school system and for students who benefit from its works. Please inform us of articles you would like to see included in next year’s issue, through or to the writers as indicated. ■

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DARNELL WYNN, Bermuda Reading Association president, is poised to introduce herself and her goals for the Bermuda Reading Association’s 2010-2011 year.

Support network for literacy has new head BY B. CANDACE RAY

You could feel the energy in the room. It was electric, passionate, purposeful, the educators attuned to the ideas of new president, Darnell Wynn. How would she lead the Bermuda Reading Association (BRA) to the targeted, “best support network for literacy education in Bermuda”? One way was by soliciting its members’ support, time, resources and dedication to help her. Those in attendance had not shied from Ms. Wynn’s invitation. They came to the luncheon meeting prepared to work, many of them new to the BRA. “That’s part of our new vision, new passion, new energy, new intellectuals,” Ms. Wynn explained. “In order to move in the new direction, we need to invite

a broader cross section of educators, parents and community members.” To this, Ms. Wynn added new ideas, new projects, greater awareness and expansion of the organization. The raising of the bar and all-inclusivity of membership will strengthen and make viable the organization’s goals, according to past vice president of the BRA, Dr. Andrea Lightbourne. “We are the Bermuda Reading Association, not an organization of teachers,” she insisted. Provision of literacy resources and recognition of outstanding literacy services form part of the group’s mission statement. The BRA will address the limited options in Bermuda for children struggling to keep up with their classmates. Professional development for teachers will be

ongoing and assist in the resolution of the poor reading skills responsible for much of the students’ difficulties. Kendra Wharton is a former reading recovery teacher, who has returned to the classroom as a Primary 1 teacher. Noting that literacy is her passion and that professional development and growth in turn assists children to realize their own potential, she said: “Our children are our number one focus… If they have a well grounded foundation, that’s the springboard because early intervention is key to moving the children from one level to the next.” The 26-year-old Bermuda Reading Association, an affiliate of the International Reading Association (IRA) will not be swayed by politics, according to its president, but through its stakeholders will advocate for the

literacy the group espouses. “I want the organization to be free of political interference so that we can concentrate on what is right, ethical and required of us to get the literacy proficiency of all Bermuda residents on par with the employment demands of our community,” Ms. Wynn said. Past BRA president, Walia Ming added: “We’re going to take literacy and knock out all the myths.” Darnell Wynn would deliver tutorial services only by expert licensed reading specialists. She said: “I want parents to be discerning about this issue… I also want to better inform (them) of the literacy expectations they should have of teachers, schools and their children.” Ms. Wynn bulleted an impressive number of goals in her lunch presentation, the foremost of which was the Annual Bermuda


Reading Association Conference, a two-day event on the theme, ‘A 3-Tiered Approach to Literacy — Instruction, Intervention and Parenting’. International speakers to be featured are the widely published Linda Dorn, Richard Allington and Flo Thornton-Reid. Local educators will offer break-out sessions. Also included among Ms. Wynn’s goals was a Celebration of ‘World Literacy Day’, ‘Bermuda Reads’ Parent Hotline, upgraded website and Gift of Literacy Christmas Campaign. Based upon the receipt of generous community donations and assistance by passionate educators, Ms. Wynn foresees all goals being met through the 20102011 year in which they are predicated. For information on how you can assist the Bermuda Reading Association, email bdareadingassoc@yahoo. com or, or call 535-8035. ■


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HEAD OF THE TABLE: New president of the Bermuda Reading Association, Darnell Wynn discusses her vision for the year with BRA members

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Gender an issue in learning problems Expert concerned over prevalence of boys in education support BY B. CANDACE RAY

Bermuda has its own Literacy Studies expert. Rebecca Van Homan is a reading recovery and learning support teacher in the Bermuda Public Education System. She published a paper early in her career and recently completed action research in her field in Bermuda. She is passionate about education generally, but boys and schooling specifically. “I work with students who are struggling with the learning process daily,” Ms. Van Homan said. “As a teacher of children with learning difficulties, I am concerned about the prevalence of boys coming into learning support or

‘I am concerned about the prevalence of boys coming into learning support or being retained in school, often at a very early age.’ REBECCA VAN HOMAN

CONCERNED: Rebecca Van Homan, literacy expert and researcher. being retained in school, often at a very early age.” She noted the link

between young black males held back a grade and subsequent dropout rates. ‘Gender science’ is a branch of neuroscience that studies the more than 100 differences discovered to date between the brains of

males and females. Among the differences, according to Ms. Van Homan, are chemical and blood-flow distinctions that determine how boys and girls develop and learn. For example, girls sit still, listen better and control their impulsivity. “Boys need more sensorytactile experiences,” the teacher said. “… Boys learn best by doing.” “Males and females even process light differently,” she said. “Males need brighter light to play, read and learn.” Ms. Van Homan agreed that this appeared to be an argument for gender separation in school; for in major studies in North America, England and Australia, single-sex classrooms have scored higher in academic performance. “A ‘boy friendly’ classroom would allow more physical movement, more teaching with diagrams, graphs and pictures, more art and music, more boyfriendly books and comics, and more male teachers and volunteers,” Ms. Van Homan said. The literacy teacher also conducts ‘How to read with your child’ workshops for parents of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. “I have met such a great bunch of parents who are desperate to do the ‘right thing’ with their children and want to help them expe-



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WORKING LUNCH: Rebecca Van Homan, literacy expert, researcher and vice president of the Bermuda Reading Association, (third from right) listens during a discussion at a recent lunch meeting of the BRA. rience success in school, but feel overwhelmed with the information out there,” she said. “Reading is a lot more complex than just learning letters and sounds and stringing them together.” Parental confusion extends to the ‘formal’ teaching in pre-schools. Parents ask if they should be using flash cards with their children? Why their children might be labelled ‘special ed,’ or why they might need medicating? “I am becoming increasingly alarmed by the number of boys being told they have processing problems, ADHD, learning difficulties, dyslexia, focus problems, language disorders, behavioural issues, and they are being labelled from an increasingly early age,” Ms. Van Homan said. Students may simply be developmentally ‘unready’ for formal instruction. This makes the labelling and dispensing of medicine inappropriate. She said: “I am very concerned with the lack of play

in the early years… Parents and teachers know when their children are stuck inside on a rainy day, they all display characteristics of having ADHD. Children need more play time, not less, to work well.” “If children are taught material when they are developmentally prepared to learn, they are less likely to be labelled as failures and hate school. For many boys, there is a huge readiness to learn between ages five and seven.” Ms. Van Homan noted: “Most children will learn to read without any struggle. It is a parent’s role to simply saturate them in books, read stories to them, talk to them, listen to them, write grocery lists with them for the child to read at the store, read the cereal box with them.” “Take them to the library, talk, talk, talk to them… enthuse a love of learning in them, encourage them and make reading time the highlight of your day. Let them see you reading, buy

‘Most children will learn to read without any struggle. It is a parent’s role to simply saturate them in books, read stories to them, talk to them, listen to them . . .’ REBECCA VAN HOMAN them books as gifts and encourage their first attempts at writing with genuine praise and encouragement.” Children who struggle to learn to read need the prompt intervention of qualified teachers, according to Ms. Van Homan, “qualified teachers with a deep understanding of literacy development, not a well meaning adult.” “It is the teacher who makes a difference in the

life of a child,” she said. “Education really is a powerful force for breaking cycles.” Ms. Van Homan, who is the newly elected vice president of the Bermuda Reading Association (BRA), noted that the organization will be holding monthly literacy workshops to which parents and teachers are invited. For information, email Rebecca Van Homan at rvanhoman@transact. bm ■

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LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD: Dr. Jamie Burgess, Argus Optical Co. optometrist uses the slit lamp to examine the health of young patient, Ryan Burgess’s eyes.

Early detection essential for eye problems BY B. CANDACE RAY

Prevention, detection and intervention apply to wellness generally, but for back to school purposes, we concentrate on eye health. Paediatricians periodically screen infant’s eyes from about the six-month checkup and through the first year, according to Dr. Jamie Burgess, Argus Optical Co. optometrist. The doctor would begin her own examinations when the child reaches twoand-a-half years. She first interviews the parents for a detailed ocular, medical and family history, which guides her testing for inheritable eye problems. “A child’s exam is generally like that of an adult, except that picture charts may be used for children

who are not yet comfortable with letters,” Dr. Burgess said. She checks visual acuity, examines tracking skills, depth perception and colour vision, scrutinizes pupil and peripheral vision and looks for refractive errors. Dr. Burgess investigates the inner and outer eye structures, checks for abnormalities and identifies dry eyes or ocular allergies. “Many eye diseases have no symptoms until they are quite advanced, which is why such a thorough examination of the entire eye is necessary,” Dr. Burgess said. The focus, too, is on eye movement and eye teaming. Specifically, Dr. Burgess examines for convergence insufficiency, which is a drifting inward of the two eyes when the child might

be working on a puzzle, trying to read or doing other close work. The resulting double vision causes print to wander across the page. Eyestrain and headache induced by the child’s efforts to re-align their eyes further results in loss of concentration and lack of comprehension. “Approximately 5 to 10 per cent of children and young adults have eye teaming problems,” Dr. Burgess said. Amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye’ is another condition in which reduced vision might not only require correctable lenses, but also other therapies. “In order to achieve maximum vision results, a child needs to be fit with spectacle lenses as early as possible,” the doctor said. “Prior to starting school,

children use their vision to guide other types of learning experiences, which are key to growth and development,” she said. “… They are developing the visuallyguided eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills and visual perceptual abilities necessary to learn to read and write.” According to Dr. Burgess, an estimated 80 per cent of a child’s learning is through visual means, including reading, writing, chalkboard and computers. “A child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. When his or her vision is not functioning properly, education and participation in sports can suffer,” the optometrist said. Poorly developed visual skills make learning stressful. Children with visual


difficulties avoid reading due to discomfort and fatigue which in turn causes a lack of comprehension. Dr. Burgess said: “The eyes are very easily damaged, and children should be taught how important their eyes are and how to protect them… Children should also be encouraged to take short breaks when at the computer or studying for long periods of time.” The doctor further suggested that comprehensive eye examinations be done at appropriate intervals, that adequate UV eye protectors be worn outdoors and that children, who play sports, use protective sports goggles. “Older children who wear contact lenses should be checked regularly to prevent the development of eye infections secondary to inadequate hygiene or contact lens care,” Dr. Burgess said. While the primary consideration is the prescription, back to school six-year-olds with already developed


WHAT CAN YOU SEE? Dr. Jamie Burgess, Argus Optical Co. optometrist, uses stereo glasses to check the depth perception of the eyes of young patient, Ryan Burgess. likes and dislikes might require some enticement to

actually wear their glasses. Dr. Burgess suggested:

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“Ultra cool features like Transitions lenses with tints that darken outdoors.” Gian Lynch, Argus Optical’s ophthalmic technician, can help your child with the choice and adjustment of frame suited to his or her new ‘shades’-like spectacles. Dr. Burgess noted the affordability and accessibility of the company’s regular eye examinations and vision care and said: “My goal is to provide the best primary eye care possible for each patient. I try to work with parents to make sure that they understand their child’s condition… I also believe in working closely with other health care professionals and eye surgeons.” Argus Optical Co. is located at Melbourne House, 11 Parliament Street. The practice operates weekdays from 9am till noon and 1pm till 4:30pm. For more information about your child’s back to school eye examination, or to make an appointment, call 292-5452. ■

Looking for new ideas for after school activities? • Extra-curricular for schools • After school programs • Birthday parties ... for all ages Get Mom & Dad involved too!

Call 292-4095

12 Dundonald Street, Hamilton

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Affordable starter laptops for students BY SIMON JONES

The wide range of laptop computers on sale these days can make choosing one a mindboggling experience to the untrained eye. Technical phrases like megabytes, processor and hard drive are enough to leave you dazed and confused — especially if you are a teenager looking for the perfect laptop to take back to school with you. The chances are you will probably want a machine that you can write your essays on and surf the Internet. Other important factors include whether you can download and play music and DVDs on the machine. If you speak to the experts then the HP Pavilion 14.1 and the Lenovo ThinkPad G550 are two of the best starter laptops for teenagers. The HP Pavilion is compact and easy to carry around either under you arm or in your school bag. This snazzy laptop comes with a DVD player and is easy to hook up to the Internet. It is also fitted with a webcam so that you can see you friends when you talk to them on Skype. The HP Pavilion has a camera card reader so that you can download your pictures on to the computer and then print them off. You can download ITunes on to this computer without any hassle. The laptop also has a headphone socket and external speakers so you can listen to your favourite music. The HP Pavilion will set you back $1,299 from Complete Office on Reid Street in Hamilton and comes with a year warranty. It is already set up with Windows 7 and a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office 2007 Student and Teachers Edition. Christine Phillips, retail floor manager at Complete Office, said: “You have got


STARTER LAPTOPS: HP Pavilion 14.1, being held here by a staff member at Complete Office, is considered, along with the Lenovo ThinkPad G550, as being two of the best starter laptops for teenagers. everything you need in this laptop. “It is a nice size and height and it has a high definition wide screen. “It will fit in your back pack easily and you can also buy sleeves for it so that it does not get scratched or damaged. “As far as laptops go this is also quite a light one and its turbo boost processor means that it works quickly.” The Lenovo ThinkPad G550 will set you back less than $1,000. In fact you can pick up this laptop at Computer City on Victoria Street in Hamilton for just $950 — and it comes with a one-

year warranty. It comes with a web cam for Skype chats and DVD player to play all your favourite films on. The Lenovo ThinkPad comes with 4GB of memory and is already set up with Windows 7 Home Premium. It has a 15.6-inch screen and an Intel Pentium Dual Core processor. It is also wireless capable and good for using lots of different programmes at the same time. This laptop’s battery will last around three hours before it needs to be charged up again. Todd Martin from Computer City said: “It is a good general purpose laptop

computer and it comes at a great price. “It is rare these days to get a laptop computer for under $1,000. “This laptop computer has about as much memory as you can get for a machine like this. “And the hard drive is big enough for a good amount of storage. “The computer is also able to handle pictures and videos too. “But the speed of the processor means that it is not really meant to be used for video editing or gaming. “It is a feature rich lap top — especially for the price you are paying.” ■



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Stop, block and tell: Victim’s guide BT LENAMAY SMITH Bullying has long been considered a normal part of school life, as inevitable as cliques and cheating. And although many schools have established systems to deal with student concerns, the reality of bullying persists, leaving its victims feeling powerless and vulnerable. Last year, in Massachusetts, 11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover hanged himself after several fellow sixth-graders made him the target of their bullying soon after the school year began. Despite his mother’s best efforts to assist him and intervention by the school, young Carl saw no alternative but to end his own life. Similarly, this year, at least nine teens were charged in connection with the suicide of 15-year-old, Phoebe Prince, also of Massachusetts. In fact, CBS News was able to report that in the last year in the United States there have been at least 10 other students, between nine and 13 years of age, who have committed suicide as a result of being bullied. And although Bermuda has had no such incidents — thankfully, this doesn’t mean that bullying isn’t a problem in our schools. Chloe (not her real name) recalls in vivid detail watching as fellow Berkeley Institute students were relentlessly and viciously tormented daily. In particular, there was a boy who appeared to have been a target for bullies. “I think this one boy had been teased all through middle school, because he came to Berkeley already defeated,” says Chloe. She describes lunch hours were certain boys would stand on this young man’s lunch table and yell at him, calling him a variety of names meaning homosexual. Chloe remembers that once the boy retaliated and punched the bully.


ISOLATED: Bullying takes many forms including giving someone the ‘cold shoulder’. Shockingly, the result was that the victim was punished. “They (staff) said that they saw what the other boy was doing, but he had made it physical … so he got in trouble,” Chloe adds that the thing that bugged her the most about the incident was that if the teachers had seen what was going on, why didn’t they stop it? Even more shocking, Chloe later found out that a couple of teachers thought that being bullied was “character building” or a “rite of passage through high school.” But Chloe counters, “It doesn’t build character, it just breaks you down … the people who were teased all the time were just discouraged and broken.” She often heard students speak of sui-

cide — just to avoid having to come to school. Although not a victim of regular bullying herself, Chloe does relate one incident that happened to her. She was physically assaulted by another student, who, she could tell, was only gearing up to make this a regular happening. Fortunately for Chloe, unlike many victims of bullying, she has high selfesteem, and thought it “absolutely unacceptable” to be treated that way. She immediately reported the incident to the office at Student Services. At first, she says, she could tell that they didn’t take her or her complaint seriously, but she was committed to seeing justice done. She visited the office daily

to ensure the process was moving along. In the end, the bully was punished and counselled, and Chloe was not hurt again. Chloe sees her persistence as a possible key for other students taking charge of their situations. Speaking of the young man mentioned earlier, “He didn’t speak up soon enough or often enough.” Chloe acknowledges that he did make efforts to report things, but made the mistake of treating each incident as if it were separate, which made the bullying appear minor and isolated. Although Chloe is quick to point out that “students shouldn’t have to report what’s going on — teachers can see it … they just blow it off !” The bullying at Berkeley isn’t more vicious or



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to dealing with school bullies frequent than at any other school on the Island — private or public. There are sad and disturbing stories to tell of victims at all of our schools. So what can be done?

For students: ■ Realize that what is happening to you is UNACCEPTABLE! No matter how different you are, how much you weigh, what colour you are, or how you dress — no one should degrade or humiliate you. ■ Dignity is your right as a human being! ■ Report the bullying to someone you trust — your parents, a school official, even the police if necessary. Do not suffer alone. ■ Try to keep a written record of each incident — where, when, who, and what was said or done. ■ Always be honest in your reporting. Resist exaggerations — any dishonesty detected in your story will call everything else into question.

For parents ■ Listen to your children if they say they are being teased, pushed around, or socially isolated at school. ■ Research the topic, so that your advice will be helpful and effective. ■ Be your child’s advocate: Contact the school, repeatedly if necessary, to ensure your child protection during school hours. ■ Be supportive. Find ways to build their selfesteem and mend the emotional hurts.

For schools ■ Recognize that it is your responsibility to provide a safe environment for students. ■ Implement a comprehensive programme that includes clear definitions of bullying, the consequences of such behaviour, counselling for those affected (both, bully and victim), and guidelines for school staff and other bystanders

for handling situations. ■ Research the topic and make whatever changes are necessary to ensure the wellbeing of each student. Bullying is not character building. To children and teens who are developing in their knowledge of themselves and in their understandings of the world, being demeaned and humiliated — whether verbally or physically, is destructive and crippling. Author, Jack Canfield says, “High esteem isn’t a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who has important goals to achieve.” In a society deeply concerned about accomplishments and appearances, let us commit to protect the unseen hearts of our children. For additional information: Stopbullyingnow. and

A note about Cyberbullying “In recent years, technology has given children and youth a new means of bullying each other,” reports the website, a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Like all bullying, this intentional, negative behaviour can come through a variety of avenues. Children or teens may receive threatening, maligning, or taunting text messages, emails, instant messages, or through web pages, blogs, social networking sites, or in chat rooms. This kind of bullying is just as demoralizing and destructive as any other form, except that it can occur even when the child is safely at home or in the company of a parent.

Parry Aftab, founder of, says that if parents notice their child is “afraid of the technology, that they loved,” or if they seem “nervous to check text messages, or off of the gaming devices they usually use, something is wrong … they may be being targeted online.” She recommends that victims STOP, BLOCK, and TELL: ■ STOP, don’t answer back. ■ BLOCK the person or message. ■ TELL a trusted adult. She also recommends that children/teens “take five.” Take five minutes after receiving a message from a bully, and walk away from their computer or device, “to get their bearings.” ■

FOR MORE tips visit:

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Countering influences that undermine education SUBMITTED BY THE BERMUDA PARENTS TEACHERS STUDENTS ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE The overall goal of the Bermuda Parents Teachers Students Association Executive (BPTSA) is to represent the interests of parents, island-wide, as it relates to the Bermuda educational system and their children. As the name also denotes, it is envisioned that this can only be achieved through close collaboration with teachers and students. The BPTSA was formed at the beginning of April 2009, following a meeting between Government and representatives from Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) throughout Bermuda. The meeting arose as a direct result of the concerns of those in attendance that negative influences within our community, such as violence, pervasive social dysfunction, societal apathy and gang activity, are undermining the effectiveness of our educational system. Attention ultimately turned to discussing ways to increase parental involvement in the educational system to contend with these challenges. It was unanimously agreed that what is needed in Bermuda is an independent non-governmental organization primarily comprised of parents committed to increasing and improving the quality of parental involvement in the educational system. A number of the parents in attendance at the meeting agreed to meet to further this objective and the BPTSA came about directly as a result of weekly meetings by willing participants since the summer months of 2009. Our initial focus was on developing an island-wide strategy to optimize parental involvement in education. We aimed to make PTAs more effective

and encouraged parents to participate at the BPTSA level and also in their respective PTAs for the benefit of all. The BPTSA operates on the premise that the more involved a parent is in their child’s education, the greater the likelihood of that child remaining in school and succeeding within the academic arena. Parental involvement also bodes well for a healthy educational environment and increases the effectiveness of teachers and students within it. We are aware that there is a great challenge in attracting some parents to participate in PTAs. It is also noted that fathers are far less likely to be involved. We also recognize the great resource of the relatively few parents who are tirelessly committed to PTA participation. On the issue of parenting itself, we recognize the need to strengthen that institution in society to more effectively and consistently guide students for success. The issue of building trust between parents, PTAs and the various players in the educational arena has been put high on our agenda. Furthermore, our meetings have also focused on addressing the too often limited mandate of PTAs and the inconsistency of PTA effectiveness from one school to the next. Last, but not least, we are aware of the need to inculcate within our children the appreciation of their responsibility to seize the educational opportunities we are providing them. Since its inception the BPTSA has been successful at mobilizing participants from up to 28 of Bermuda’s schools. We have contributed to the process of Ministerial reform of the educational system through the Government’s ‘Blueprint for Reform in Education’ by identifying key issues for

‘. . . violence, pervasive social dysfunction, societal apathy and gang activity, are undermining the effectiveness of our educational system.’ parents and soliciting input through correspondences and meetings with PTAs. We have successfully drafted a constitution capturing an organizational structure to accommodate every school within Bermuda as well as all organizations, individuals and businesses, which support our clearly defined objectives. Over the summer months of 2010, the BPTSA

Executive continues to meet and to devise a strategic plan to mobilize parents, improve the effectiveness of PTAs and to track our success at achieving our objectives. We invite all parents to join us in this effort by joining your respective PTAs or contacting the BPTSA directly at 238-7932; or on Facebook at bermudaparentstudentassociation ■

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THE BERKELEY INSTITUTE, 26 Berkeley Road, Pembroke.

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Pack your kids a lunch full of ‘brain’ food development. These can be found in nuts and seeds such as flaxseed and walnuts. For further information try websites like <http://www.mypyramid.go v> or <> ”Here are some examples of easy, tasty brain-boosting lunch boxes designed to make your child function optimally during those afternoon lessons.

SUBMITTED BY BERMUDA HOSPITALS BOARD Parents can help their children perform better in school by providing a healthy lunch packed with ‘brain’ foods. Lunch boxes containing fruits and vegetables, rather than fried and processed foods, can help children do better academically and also have a positive impact on how children behave during the day. “Children may concentrate better in the classroom and have energy for afternoon activities with the boost of a healthy lunch,” said Nicole Rochester, Clinical Dietician for Outpatient Services at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. “The brain needs fuel from foods for a constant source of energy in order to work well. Foods like oily fish help to boost memory.


Linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids also help with children’s growth and brain

Sample lunchbox ■ Wholegrain pita pocket or bread with sliced chicken or turkey crammed with strips of lettuce and cucumber. ■ Fruit and oat bar with no added sugar. ■ A packet of toasted pumpkin seeds. ■ Water or fruit smoothie

Sample lunchbox 1

Sample lunchbox 3

Small container of hummus. ■ Vegetable dippers (chopped raw vegetables like carrot, cucumber, peppers, cherry tomatoes, baby corn, celery, broccoli, radishes). ■ Wholegrain crackers which can be dipped or spread with hummus. ■ Fruit (try containers of

■ Wholegrain bagel filled with salmon and beetroot pate (blend 1 small can of salmon with a little natural yogurt and a slice of beetroot) serve with grated carrots and fresh watercress. ■ Small container of fruit yogurt served with wholegrain crackers. ■ Water or diluted fruit juice.

HEALTHY LUNCH BOX: Geting children to eat it remains a challenge.

berries or cubes of melon, plums or apricots). ■ Water or diluted fruit juice.

Smart brain food tips Ensure a balanced meal by serving protein, like fish, lean meat or beans with carbohydrates like whole grains, fruit or vegetables. This helps to balance blood sugar, sustain energy levels, mood and concentration. We learn by example so make sure your children see you enjoying fresh whole foods, including fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Involve your children in meal choice and preparation, as this increases their familiarity with healthy food choices and good hygiene practices. It also means they are more likely to finish what's on their plate. When you are out shopping, have younger children help find fruits and vegetables that match the different colours of the rainbow. This way you'll be increasing the variety of the foods they eat, while maximizing their intake of antioxidant nutrients, which helps to support their immune system. ■



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SOMERSFIELD ACADEMY, 107 Middle Road, Devonshire.


18 â&#x2013; AUGUST 20, 2010


School offers second chance to adults BY B. CANDACE RAY

The Adult Education School (AES) revels in a rich history. It boasts 52 years of invitational education, 52 years of building community, 52 years of supporting adult learners in the achievement of their educational and career goals. Its qualified and certified teachers work to establish a sense of community within personalized classes of small, perhaps only four students. Self-esteem and self-confidence develop in a judgmentally free environment buoyed by academic, emotional and social support. Adult learners ranging from 16 to 50 years and up, who left the public or private school system before completing their studies,

reach out to the school for its alternative educational programmes, including its General Educational Development diploma. The GED is a secondary school equivalency diploma that helps to open previously closed doors. English language arts and math are the focus, for which a comprehensive diagnostic assessment of the student is done. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Based on that assessment, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re able to determine what the best programme placement might be,â&#x20AC;? executive director, Donna Daniels said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Very often we have to let them know theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not at a GED level.â&#x20AC;? Such students will first need help with literacy or numeracy. Other academic programmes that AES offers include, but are not limited

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The executive director attributes the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success to teachers who build a strong relationship with their pupils.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; to, Transitions to College Writing and Transitions to College Math. The school tailors attendance and number of hours over the days, nights, or if required, weekends that students can devote to their studies, with intensity and frequency of sessions intended to ensure maximum growth in the learner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The programme is very flexible in working with the clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; schedule,â&#x20AC;? Ms. Daniels said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś This year we had 199 people who actu-

ally came through the school.â&#x20AC;? The executive director attributes the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success to teachers who build a strong relationship with their pupils. This layers upon the invitational aspect, non-judgmental environment, family atmosphere and intimacy and warmth of the classes, despite programme demands. Some students pay their own fees, but where financial challenges exist, the

J a c k s o n S c h o o l o f Pe r fo r m i n g A r t s

SEPTEMBER REGISTRATION 2010 Begins August 9th 11:00-2:00 pm Monday- Saturday Offering Ballet/ Jazz/ Tap/ Modern/ Hip Hop/ Salsa/ Drums/ Pilates Mat Classes/ Private Pilates Apparatus Classes (ages 3 years to adult classes)

Jazz Dance Store Leotards,Tights, Dance Shoes Liturgical Wear, Costumes and more  "52.!"9 342%%4 (!-),4/. s 4  s &  % *!#+3/.3 ./24(2/#+"- s 777*!#+3/.33#(//,#/-



AUGUST 20, 2010 â&#x2013; 19


DONNA DANIELS, executive director of the Adult Education School (right) with Heather Osborne, administrative assistant. school has an established network of corporate and business entities that provide grants, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;opportunity scholarshipsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and sponsorships. Funding might be found through an employer, Governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Training and Employment Services, AES bursaries, or church, social or sporting club. Among its specialized services are the BEC Work Ready Programme, mentoring and Spirit of Bermuda Expeditionary Learning. The school initiated a partnership with the Bermuda Employers Council (BEC) this year to offer interested students the opportunity to learn resume writing, to take part in mock interviews, acquire business etiquette and communications skills and gain awareness of how to dress professionally. Good results with the programme have led to indications of continued support, according to Ms. Daniels. She said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;[I enjoy] working with young adults, who

to me have such brilliance and need a non-traditional alternative programme to help them meet their goalsâ&#x20AC;Ś I enjoy seeing young people transform, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we do here. They now feel empowered, feel good about themselves.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of them go on to the Bermuda College. Some go overseas to the U.S., U.K. and Canada.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an awesome place,â&#x20AC;? she added. The executive director acknowledged Adult Education School founder, Merle Brock Swan Williams, and noted that Mrs. Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; early vision and commitment continues to stand and meet the changing needs of the Bermudian community. AES semesters run September to December, January to March and March to June. Classes restart on Tuesday, September 7. For information, leave a message on the frequently monitored 292-5809, or email

The Adult Education School office will be open at 16 Dundonald Street,

Hamilton from 8:45am till 7:30pm beginning August 29. â&#x2013;



20 ■ AUGUST 20, 2010





AUGUST 20, 2010 ■ 21

Chances of academic success increased by frequent parent-teacher contact BY LENAMAY SMITH For students to receive the “optimum benefit of education,” parents and teachers must “work in concert,” asserts P3 teacher of Victor Scott Primary, Sophia Iris. Further emphasizing the significance of this union, Ms. Iris explains that it is “utterly important” to make home and school part of one team, “speaking one language and working in happy camaraderie.” After 16 years of teaching experience in Bermuda, as well as in other jurisdictions, working with primary and high school aged students, Ms. Iris believes that a child’s chance of academic success is considerably increased when they receive support at home and at school, all toward the same goals. Concurrent with Ms. Iris’ comments, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognizes that parents have more and more demands on their time, making it difficult to maintain significant involvement in their children’s lives. But they state that when parents are involved in their children’s education, children tend to get higher grades and test scores, they have better attendance in school, exhibit better behaviour, complete homework assignments more consistently, and have an overall more positive attitude toward school. At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Iris suggests that parents and teachers “establish a relationship for open communication”. Both parties share the onus of initiating this relationship. “It’s nice if the teacher makes the first move,” says Ms. Iris, but the parent “should also feel


SUPPORT: Parents and teacher working in concert can only be beneficial to the student. free” to establish a willingness to work with the teacher on their child’s behalf. Ms. Iris gives parents her email address and her celphone number, accompanied by the times that she may be contacted about class concerns. Parents should also give contact information directly to the teacher, as well as any other information that may be helpful. Although school offices usually have detailed contact information on file, a teacher’s own copy of such details, can be useful during class time or after school hours. Busy parents and teachers may not always be available to speak on the phone (at the same time) — fortunately we aren’t limited to landlines. In addition to the tried and true ‘note in the lunchbox’ and face to face chat before or after school, interested parties may also

email, text message, or even use Facebook or Twitter to communicate. Teachers may set up a class and/or teacher blogsite, or consider sending out a class newsletter with up-to-date class happenings — anything from announcing the birth of a class hamster to recent artwork on display. This “open communication” Ms. Iris is encouraging, isn’t just for passing on bad news. In fact, a relationship of trust and respect will be more quickly built if parent-teacher contact is frequent and also conveys good news. Additionally, a good rapport is established when parents make attendance at PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and other school activities a priority. Speaking candidly, Ms. Iris said that there are times when, despite best efforts, relations between parents and teachers can

become “unpleasant and difficult”. As much as possible, both parties should assume good will on the part of the other. It is within this honest framework that teachers may be apprised of other needs a child may have — such as emotional, social, or behavioural challenges. If a parent’s attempt at implementing such a relationship is not met with like-enthusiasm or there are other problems with the two connecting, Ms. Iris recommends that parents speak with a school coordinator, or the school counsellor. She says that the school counsellor can be a “good mediator” between parents and teachers. If all else fails, speak with the school principal. ■

NAEYC STATEMENTS were summarized from their website families/PT

22 ■ AUGUST 20, 2010




ELLIOT PRIMARY SCHOOL, 12 Hermitage Road, Devonshire.



AUGUST 20, 2010 ■ 23

24 ■ AUGUST 20, 2010



Guide to Facebook for kids and parents BY LENAMAY SMITH With 500 million active users, Facebook is a formidable presence among social networking sites. Its

stated goal of “giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” is easily met with users of all ages logging on for as many as

500 billion minutes per month. Although Facebook requires its users be no younger than 13-years-old, the site has no effective

age-verifying system in place. So tech-savvy pre-teens are setting up accounts in record numbers, and joining the world of social networking. Is Facebook a harmless pastime or should parents be concerned? Lilyanna is 12-years-old and a brand new Facebook user. Although her two older brothers have Facebook accounts, Lilyanna wasn’t enticed to set up her own until she made some new friends on a recent trip to the United States. She wanted to keep in touch and found that several of her new acquaintances were on Facebook. After some research, and because they approved of the friendships she was trying to develop, her parents gave their permission for Lilyanna to join. “Mostly, I use Facebook for the email,” she explained, but if any of her friends are on-line when she logs on, she says that they “talk for a bit”. Lilyanna logs on almost daily, which, according to Facebook, is typical of about 50 per cent of their worldwide users. Lilyanna’s parents appreciate the usefulness of the Internet, but recognize that it is potentially harmful. They maintain open communication with their children about Internet usage but place computers in public areas of the home to avoid “secret online conversations”, and they utilize “blocking and monitoring technologies”, said Joseph, Lilyanna’s dad. Both parents have a good understanding of the Internet, with dad having his own Facebook account. With this, he is easily able to monitor his children’s pages and safeguard their online experiences. To set up an account with Facebook, one needs only five free minutes and an See FACEBOOK, page 26



AUGUST 20, 2010 ■ 25


KEEPING IN TOUCH: American scouts take time out to check Facebook and emails at one of the AT&T Connection Zones during a National Jamboree Camp at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.

26 ■ AUGUST 20, 2010



FACEBOOK: The average user has around 130 friends Continued from page 24 email address. After giving some very basic information, including your birth date, a confirmation email is sent to you. Once you’ve (counter)confirmed, an account is opened. New users then begin the arduous, though fun task of completing a personal profile and accumulating friends. Facebook reports that their average user has about 130 friends. In addition to connecting with friends, checking statuses, tagging and commenting on photos, and uploading video, users may also entertain themselves with over 550,000 applications hosted by Facebook Platform. These applications allow users to interact with friends in more creative and useful ways, as well as providing entertaining and


ALWAYS CONNECTED: With Internet availability on the latest mobile phones Facebook is available wherever you go. engaging games, connection with external websites, and of course, advertisements. “You never have to talk to anybody on Facebook,” says Destiny (16), a Facebook user since she was 14. “For me, it’s purely about the games,” she said. Farmville, Café World, PetVille, and

MallWorld are just a few of the most popular among over 200 game applications available. Although these greatly enhance the online experience for Facebook users, they are enormous time consumers, often requiring the ongoing maintenance of virtual places

and people. Facebook reports that 70 per cent of its users “engage with platform applications” on a monthly basis. Facebook, and other sites like it, present a few real dangers to younger users., resource provided by the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications & E-Commerce, advises parents to be informed about the sites their children use, to understand and utilize the sites’ privacy settings, and to stress with their children that they should never arrange to meet with an online friend. In fact, they should not communicate with anyone that they have not already met in person. These guidelines can protect children from predators, but social networks present an additional danger. Cybertips recommends that young online users be made aware that anything “published on the Web,” should be considered permanent. Sites like Facebook, which encourage sharing and transparency, become the perfect environment for over-sharing. Cybertips says that “whether you or someone else is posting information or images of you online, there is no guarantee that it won’t come back to haunt you later in life.” The site reminds teens and pre-teens that colleges, scholarship committees, and future employers, can look them up online. A lack of appropriate sharing can compromise a child’s future prospects. Social networking sites, like Facebook, are here to stay. The Internet isn’t shrinking; it’s getting larger and more vital to all parts of our lives. While we want our children to be safe, we also want them to be competent with the tools of their generation. With supervision, regulation, and a healthy balance of other activities, Facebook can be an enriching addition to our children’s lives. ■



AUGUST 20, 2010 ■ 27

28 ■ AUGUST 20, 2010



Easing the worry when they leave home COPY SUPPLIED BY HSBC BERMUDA Are your children getting ready to leave home for the first time? For parents, this can be a worrying experience. You want them to enjoy exploring new cultures, but you also need to know they’ll never be left stranded when travelling or studying abroad. At HSBC Premier we know you never stop worrying about your children, and we are here to help put your mind at ease. When you qualify for HSBC Premier (HSBC Premier is available to customers who hold at least $200,000 or the foreign currency equivalent with us in cash and/or investments) the same benefits you enjoy when travelling also extend to your family. We’ll take care of their banking needs on the road by providing them with access to a wide range of services including a Global Safety Net, a Children’s Online Savings Account, and access to a Family Financial Planning Service to help them prepare and plan for the future.

Open an account before you go One of the first things you’ll need to do to prepare your children for boarding school or university is to open a bank account overseas, as they’ll need to access money right away for school supplies, clothing and other expenses. To make things easier, you can take advantage of the international account opening facility in over 40 countries and territories to have an account ready for them when they arrive. And if you want to ensure they’re never left wanting for money, they can have an additional credit card with limits that you set for them.

Emergencies We understand that emergencies do happen, and with


PEACE OF MIND: It is a comfort to know that when your children leave home for study or travel they won’t be left stranded owing to lack of money. a presence and Premier recognition in 88 countries and territories around the world, HSBC is well placed to assist should something go wrong. Whether it’s a lost backpack or a stolen wallet, your children can walk into a branch anywhere in the world where the HSBC logo is displayed and receive immediate assistance. Your children are entitled to up to $2,000 emergency cash (with your permission), and where necessary, 24-hour emergency credit card replacement. After business hours we are only a telephone call away on the worldwide helpline - 1 908 PREMIER.

Online Savings Account you can set limits so that they can only withdraw a certain amount per day, and with joint access you can easily monitor just how much they’re saving and spending every day. Personal Internet banking is enhanced for Premier customers with the availability of Global View and Global Transfer. Global View allows you to view all of your HSBC account balances on one screen with a single login. Global Transfer enables you to make money transfers in real time between HSBC accounts with no fees.

Monitor what they are spending…and saving

When it comes to putting plans in place for the future of your children, it’s never too early to start. Children grow up fast, and their first day of school or university is a major milestone. To help them make this transition, you can start to prepare financially by setting aside the funds you will need to meet these education costs. As a Premier customer,

Managing money properly while attending boarding school or university is a major responsibility for most children. While you want them to enjoy their time abroad, it’s important they know how to manage their money wisely. Through the Children’s

Plan for life’s major events

For more information about HSBC Premier: Call: +1 441 299 5252 Visit:

your relationship manager can help you to prepare by assessing your financial circumstances, life goals and investment experience. They will develop a financial plan that’s tailored to meet your goals and objectives. When your circumstances change they can create a plan that’s flexible enough to grow with your family and help you to maximise the potential of your savings and investments, providing real life solutions for real life problems. To find out more about how you can support your children wherever they are, contact your dedicated relationship manager today. ■

ISSUED BY HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited which is licensed to conduct Banking and Investment business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.



AUGUST 20, 2010 â&#x2013; 29

Smartphones the hot choice for back to school COPY SUPPLIED BY DIGICEL The summer is winding down and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for that perfect phone to take back to school. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need it to look cool enough to show your friends, the keyboard to be simple enough for you to type quick messages, the features to be interesting enough to hold your attention. The selection of phones available is growing all the time and you have lots to choose from. So whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best choice? The experts at Digicel recommend two smartphones for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smart student. Smart students, of course, are not all alike. Some love the social life, while others get down to business. Check out these profiles and see what type of student you are â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and which phone is best for you.

Social butterfly When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not buried in the books at school, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re planning parties, chatting with friends, and keeping connected on Facebook or Twitter. You watch all the latest videos on YouTube, listen to the hottest new tunes and have the inside scoop on the best fashions for the weekend. For the social butterflies, the Motorola Karma QA1 is a necessity. Your texts show

up in IM-style, making it simple to follow the conversation. Facebook and MySpace are readily accessible from the Motorola Karma QA1, so you can connect to your page and to your friends in no time. You can stream YouTube videos effortlessly on your handset, which is awesome for catching up on new videos â&#x20AC;&#x201D;you know, in between your social calls. Best of all, the Motorola Karma QA1 is 3G enabled, allowing you to access the Digicel 3G+ network, which is the fastest mobile data network available in Bermuda. Digicel 3G+ features elite HSPA+ technology, which is much faster than standard 3G allowing for faster browsing, downloads and more reliable video streaming.

Serious student Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face it, staying on the honour roll is hard work, but you manage to pull it off. Must be all that organization youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got going on! You like to have your emails accessible on the go, want useful applications on your phone, and need to have organization tools like calendar alerts, tasks and voice notes to keep you focused on the road to success. You know what they say about all work and no play, however, so you keep yourself well rounded with chatting to friends and playing the occasional game. Your friends always look forward to your witty quips on Twitter and your funny pictures on Facebook. Serious students benefit from the BlackBerry Curve 8520. This popular handset allows you to use BlackBerry Messenger in addition to the standard data uses, such as email, Internet, and social media. With a BlackBerry Curve 8520, you also have access to the BlackBerry App World, containing hundreds of downloadable applications for your device. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 also connects wireless-

to take photos and send them via email, or post them to Facebook and Twitter instantly.

School smart


ly to other Bluetooth devices and has Wi-Fi capabilities. With a 2-megapixel camera that features 5X digital zoom and flash, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy


Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a social butterfly or a serious student, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re definitely at school to learn and should make the most of your time there. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll want to use your new phones all the time, of course, but we recommend putting them away while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at school. We know many of your teachers would love to get their hands on these phones too! The Motorola Karma QA1 and the BlackBerry Curve 8520 are each available at Digicel for the special offer price of $99. â&#x2013;

FOR MORE information, please visit www.digicel or call Digicel at 500-5611.



30 â&#x2013; AUGUST 20, 2010



Safety a priority for studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first bike BY SIMON JONES


FIRST BIKE: Steve Decouto, manager at Cycle Care, pictured with the Sym 50, a popular choice for the first time rider.

If you are looking to buy just the right moped for your 16-year-old you will want a bike that is safe, reliable and practical. The most important thing is that you can rest easy while your son and daughter is out and about on the roads safe in the knowledge you have given them the safest ride possible. The Sym 50 and Peugeot Speedfight 2 are bikes that will tick all the boxes for the first-time teenage motorcyclist. Unlike many 50cc bikes the Sym 50 has a four-stroke engine. And if you buy the Sym 50 from Cycle Care it will set you back a very reasonable $2,999. This makes the machine reliable and friendly on the environment.

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FFor or the Academic Y Year eear Se September eptember 2010 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2011 Monday,, Tuesday Monday Tuesday and TThursday hursday 9:0 9:00 00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Monday and TThursday hursday evenings 5: 5:30 30 pp.m. .m. - 7:30 pp.m. .m.

WE ALSO OFFER AN AFTE AFTER ER SCHOOL PROGRAMME Monday-Friday Monday-F riday 3:30 p.m. p.m. - 5:00 pp.m. . .m.

CALL 292-0915 FOR REGISTRA REGISTRATION ATTION OR EMAIL: carelearningcentre@myofďŹ carelearningcentre@my yofďŹ

Being a 50cc bike also obviously limits the amount of power you have at your fingertips. The bike is fitted with 16inch wheels that are slightly bigger than the average 13-inch wheels on many bikes. This gives the rider more control when cornering and driving through the busy streets of Hamilton. The Sym 50 has a good set of brakes, which bring the machine to a stop safely and quickly. It is fitted with front disc brakes and a rear drum for optimum braking. The bike is light and easy to prop while being robust and solid. It is easy to prop up onto its stand, which can often be a problem for younger, less strong riders. It is not just functional â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it is also a smart looking bike with basic accessories. The bike comes complete with digital tachometer and glove box. Steven Decouto, manager at Cycle Care, said the Sym 50 is one of the safest bikes around for first time riders. And he believes it is perfectly suited to cautious drivers and the ideal entrylevel bike. He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Sym 50 should give parents peace of mind because it is safe and reliable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The engine size limits how fast it will go â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but it has more than enough power to get up steep hills without it straining. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The size of the wheels means that it has very good handling. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is also plenty of space under the seat for a helmet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is also worth considering that a 50cc bike like this is not the kind of bike that will be stolen if it is left outside shops or in car parks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a basic bike which is safe and functional and not the kind of bike that thieves would go after. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having said that there is also a cut off switch underneath the seat.


“We often see parents choosing this bike for their children because they want their son or daughter to have the safest bike possible.” The Speedfight 2 is a 50cc Peugeot bike and is on sale at Wheels Cycles on Dundonald Street for $3,095. It comes with a year warranty and is a low maintenance bike, which requires little if no added attention. A shock absorber on the back wheel means that this bike handles the bumps with ease. There is space for the helmet underneath the seat and there is always the choice of fitting a box to the bike of the bike for extra storage space. Daevon Burgess, service manager at Wheels, believes the Speedfight 50cc is the ideal bike to get from A to B. He said: “The Speedfight is an easy bike to control for the first time rider. “It can also fit two people on board with ease. “It is fitted with a large


AUGUST 20, 2010 ■ 31


PEUGEOT SPEEDFIGHT 2: Considered an easy bike to control for the novice rider. comfortable seat that gives you a nice ride. “The Speedfight has a basic analogue dash which means there is less that can go wrong with it “For a 50cc bike it has a

pretty ‘racy” design that appeals to a lot of boys but also girls. “The weight of the bike makes it easy to control and easy to handle in heavy traffic.

“One of the best features is that it is low maintenance — so as long as you top up the gas and oil you are good to go.” The Speedfight 2 comes in blue or black. ■

32 ■ AUGUST 20, 2010






NORTHLANDS PRIMARY SCHOOL, 9 Berkeley Road, Pembroke.


Back2School 2010  

Autumn is almost upon us. Certainly, the back-to-school season is. This is the time of year for new beginnings, when anything is possible.

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