In the midst of many challenges, the Gladys Murray Porte Foundation over the weekend conducted its first graduation and closing program.
The kindergarten school, located on Porte’s Hill in Crozierville, Montserrado County, was founded by Gladys Murray Porte over a year ago as a means of affording underprivileged children the opportunity to learn.
Mrs. Porte said that she was moved to start a school to help the many children that wandered about the community because they lacked the means to go to school. She said that it was her little way of contributing to the educational sector of Liberia, especially in a place where there is hardly a school to meet the educational needs of many school aged children.
Guest speaker Mrs. Mae Gene Best, Consultant at the Liberian Observer Corporation, reminded the audience of the importance of the occasion, stating that the students were part of a new generation from Crozierville, who were preparing themselves to take the helm of leadership in the future.
She stated that she wanted to see a new breed of famous sons and daughters emerging from Crozierville and making history in Liberia following the footsteps of the famous late pamphleteer, Albert Porte.
Mrs. Best warned the students of the many challenges they would face in the pursuit of their education, and encouraged them to endure till the end. She strongly advised that “no matter what happens, stay in school,” because as their school’s founder rightfully stated, “education is the way.”
She further encouraged the students to work hard, focus on their lessons, and listen to their parents and teachers for valuable advice as they continue their educational journey of another twelve years through high school and several more to acquire the qualifications to become the doctors, teachers, scientists which they told the audience they want to become.
She reminded the students that they were fortunate to be in school, because many other children who should be in school are serving as breadwinners for their families (either selling or doing domestic work for survival), which she said “should stop” because it would only lead to what she described as an “illiterate population with half educated people, which is very dangerous.”
She reminded the students that no matter where they go, or who they become, they should always remember where they started, and always be grateful to the teachers who helped them and for the support of their parents.
Mrs. Best encouraged the kids to stay happy and enjoy the positive things in life, urging them to love God, who is their Creator, and also to love their country. Concluding, Mrs. Best pleaded with the parents to continue the struggle to keep their children in school no matter the sacrifice.
She called on parents to buttress the efforts of Madam Porte, and support her in every way to make her dream for the school and its benefits to their children a reality.
Mrs. Best was especially grateful to Mrs. Porte and her family for taking the bold step in educating young people in the Crozierville township, despite the obstacles they face.
Elizabeth Johnson, a grandmother who has two grandchildren in the school, has to sell fufu to pay their fees. She thanked Mrs. Porte, saying, “If this school was not established on Porte’s Hill, I don’t know where we would have sent our children.”
After the program, Conrad C. Porte, son of the founder, broke ground for a three classroom building to host the increasing number of students for whom there is no permanent structure. The students usually run for shelter to the founder’s house during rainfall, “which is an embarrassment,” Porte said.
He said the structure, when it is built, will bring an end to the “inconvenience and embarrassment.”
The school currently has forty students, of which sixteen graduated.