SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The teachers and students of the A.C.E. (All Children Education) Foundation school were elated when NAGICO Insurances confirmed that they could continue to operate from their current location in Cole Bay for another year rent free.
The A.C.E. school, which was founded by Claire Elshot, has been struggling for years to obtain adequate funding to pay for a location, after they were evicted from their previous site on LB Scott Road.
“We became aware of their plight when we were approached by Ms. Elshot and it was a no brainer for us. We simply had to find a way to accommodate them because we could not sit by knowing that children would be unable to attend school,” Eric Ellis, Managing Director of NAGICO Insurances explained.
“Our initial agreement was to allow the school to stay for a period of one year during which we would absorb the cost of rent and grant the administrators sufficient time to find an alternative and more permanent location. However, the last 2 years came with varied challenges for the A.C.E. Foundation and so we continued to lend a helping hand.”
The A.C.E. Foundation school provides education to a wide cross section of children; children of varying nationalities and from age 3 to 14. The school currently houses fifty-five (55) students and seven (7) teachers.
“We are extremely grateful and very appreciative to NAGICO, because we have been to the point where we literally had nowhere to have our school and I tried everything because I never ever want to have to tell these students and teachers that they have to go home because we have nowhere to keep our school,” Elshot said.
“So, the fact that NAGICO did not hesitate to allow us to have the building when we approached them, this is something I will be always grateful to them for, they have really come through for us.”
NAGICO’s Chief Strategy & Development Officer, Kyria Ali, met with the teachers and students during a site visit at the school and she lauded the A.C.E. Team on the remarkable work they have been doing with the students. “The A.C.E. Foundation School has added and continues to add significant value to St. Maarten. They have shaped the lives of many. The teachers and administrators have created a safe and happy environment for the children to gather, learn and develop together.
“It was very nice to see that in addition to the academic lessons that are taught, invaluable life skills are also given attention by the teachers. No child is made to feel different or lesser than another. Respect and discipline are a focus of the school which is spectacular.” said Kyria Ali.
The Ace School has been instrumental in securing placement for several students in Secondary Schools on the island. They facilitate students from Kindergarten to Grade Six and are currently expanding to accommodate a Day Care section.
With this extended contract from NAGICO, the A.C.E. School will be able to stay at their current Cole Bay location for another year rent free.