Caribbean Lottery Site Operations Manager Paula Williams (left) hands over a US $2,400 cheque to radio broadcaster Valerie van Putten-Hodge for sponsorship of the “Now You Know” breakfast programme.
PHILIPSBURG–Caribbean Lottery has donated US $2,400 to support radio broadcaster Valerie van Putten-Hodge’s “Now You Know” breakfast programme.
Through this sponsorship, 35 children at Prins Willem-Alexander School for special education in Belvedere will receive “a nourishing meal” at the start of their school day. Most of the children develop more slowly than average, Van Putten-Hodge explained, and so they especially need the extra support. She expressed her gratitude to Caribbean Lottery for once again stepping up in support.
“They need brain food,” said the radio broadcaster, who has partnered with Rotary Club of St. Maarten Sunrise to support the breakfast programme for children with special needs for the past five years.
“The Rotary Club approached me five years ago,” she added. “I have been assisting them ever since through my radio programmes. The children are growing up in challenging circumstances, and some of them have even told me that this is their only proper meal for the day. It is heart-breaking.”
She said the children’s circumstances have become even more difficult since the passage of two hurricanes in September 2017.
Caribbean Lottery Site Operations Manager Paula Williams confirmed Caribbean Lottery’s commitment to supporting the programme. “This is the fifth consecutive year for us, and we are happy to join with our partners who recognise the need to help these vulnerable children. There is no doubt that this programme is making an impact, helping to strengthen the students’ capacity for learning and enhancing their wellbeing in general,” she said.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is said. For the children at Prins Willem-Alexander School, their nutritious meal consists of sandwiches, fruits and a drink – and peanut butter is usually somewhere in the mix. For hungry students who need to focus on their studies, it is indeed good brain food, it was stated in a press release.
Van Putten-Hodge encourages more private and corporate sponsors to come on board. The popular veteran broadcaster can be heard on Voice of St. Maarten radio station (NYK Radio). Her two radio shows – the daily “Now You Know” and the long-running Sunday feature “What Will I Be” – promote and seek sponsorship for the breakfast programme.