The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

The Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) is a branch of the Albena-Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School which caters to the education and training of students with behavioural issues and who, for the most part, find it challenging to cope in the mainstream school system.

The curriculum at the PRU involves hands-on work on projects that would develop the students’ manual skills. They annually display work in carpentry, gardening, IT, investigations, and science projects. On Wednesday, 25th May, the Unit hosted such an exhibition on its Open Day.

Mr. Henry Butler is the Science and Math teacher, but he gave us a tour of what is grown in the garden, while he carried out some sales of the garden produce. He explained: “This is the agricultural division and we are displaying the various crops that we grow. We cultivate fruit and vegetable plants as well as floral plants.

“Each student has made a contribution to the growth of these plants. Each one has put their personal touch to the garden. The students have been diligently working each Friday for the past two terms to perfect their produce. Early this morning, judges came in to assess the plants and the student who cultivated the best garden will be awarded a monetary prize of US$100, courtesy of the Unit. This makes for a very good incentive.”

Mr. Butler listed the kind of crops that are grown in the garden. “We have a wide variety of fruits and flowers, he said. “It all depended on what the students wanted to put in their individual garden. There are palm trees, lime trees, cherry trees, hibiscus, oleander, mango trees, crotons, lemon grass, a sugar-apple tree, cabbages, egg plants, thyme, tomatoes, seasoning peppers, bokchoi, celery and sour-sop.”

In the carpentry division, we met with student Erric Aimable. He showed us his fascinating crafts in woodwork. “Thank you for coming to our Open Day today,” he said. “I hope that you will like our stuff. Mr. Brooks and Pastor Gumbs are the best so they helped me to bring out my best.”

Erric referred to Pastor Philip Gumbs and Mr. Tyrone “Latest” Brooks who are his instructors. Like the garden work, a monetary prize was awarded for the best piece of carpentry.

We met with the PRU Coordinator, Ms. Marcia Hodge, who gave us a tour of the classrooms, including the students’ IT room, exhibiting the students’ individual projects.

She also gave us a tour of the Counseling Room, and explained the level of support and guidance that the students are generally given to aid in their development. We also had the privilege of meeting with the Counselor, Ms. Sheryl Ruan.

Overall, the Coordinator, teachers and the students were quite efficient in displaying the kind of exhibits that they worked on over the last two terms. The students, for the most part, indicated a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work. They look forward to the public’s support in purchasing their crafts, thus encouraging them in their efforts.

Persons who are interested in buying any of items on display, are encouraged to visit the PRU facility. It is located in the yellow two-storey building next to Gadget City, around the corner from J. W. Proctors.