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St Agnes students host day of silence

Monday, November 11, 2013

Students of the St Agnes Anglican Primary School, Clarence Street, St James will host a day of silence today as part of a novel fund-raising event. The event, Golden Silence: You don’t have to shout to be heard, seeks to sensitise students about social issues and teach them new ways to communicate with each other. 


According to principal, Lauralyn Alexander-Olivier, the school is in need of urgent repairs, including the refurbishment and equipping of the school library and audio-visual room. In a telephone interview, she said the school has received help already with a pledge of labour from the T&T Army, but needs to raise funds for materials. 


Alexander-Olivier added that one of the teachers at the school suggested the fund-raising event be beneficial to the students in some way. This is when the idea for a day of silence came about. “We want them to develop skills of silence and understanding and empathy for those who cannot speak. At the end of the day they get a value for empathy and their own creative means of communicating with each other,” she said. “We want them to think about those who do not have the gift of voice and about what the challenges those people face in society.” 


The principal also wants students to understand the importance of silence. “Silence develops your listening skills and helps you to focus. You get that inner calm and there are so many other simple benefits to silence such as developing your awareness of your surroundings,” she said. 


Students will be silent from 9.45 am to 2.45 pm. They will only be allowed to answer questions from teachers, but will asked to find other ways of communicating with each other through sign language or notes. During the day, artwork, poems and essays by students will be on display. Requested donations are $5 per hour, per student or $25 per student for the day.


Anyone wishing to contribute or get more information can contact the school at 622-1111.


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