Students and faculty of the John P. Mitchell Elementary, Junior and Senior High School were surprised on Tuesday, April 21, when a resident of the Boys Town Community, Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh, donated 78 pieces of arm chairs to them.
Kids of the lower section of the school, which is located directly opposite House Speaker J. Alex Tyler’s residence, sit on broken pieces of concrete bricks and wooden chairs.
The female teacher of the 2nd grade class also sits on bricks, while the male teacher of the 1st grade sits on a broken chair and kids in both classes sit on broken pieces of bricks and chairs.
The John P. Mitchell School, which has 750 pupils, is located on the outskirts of Monrovia on the highway leading to the Roberts International Airport. It is also a couple of feet away from the Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barracks, along the same highway and a mile from the official residence of the Margibi County District #1 lawmaker, Rep. Roland Opee Cooper.
However, the school’s most pressing need has not gone unnoticed. Mr. Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh, who donated the arm chairs, is a resident of the district, too. He lives at least two miles from the school.
“I was invited some time ago by the school authorities to deliver a motivational speech to the kids. When I got on the campus, I decided to walk around the school. I noticed that the children and their teachers were sitting on broken pieces of bricks. I was moved to do something,” Mr. Tarponweh said.
To the surprise of the students and teachers, he donated 78 pieces of durable arm chairs. He also told the students that an additional 50 chairs would be brought in two weeks. He told this newspaper that it cost him US$1,500 for the chairs.
He further stated that he did not have to be in government before he could help a child stay in school and that it gave him joy to see smiles on the faces of the children, “who are Liberia’s future leaders.”
He used the occasion to call on other well-meaning Liberians to help the children of Liberia stay in school.
The school’s principal, student council president and queen in separate statements praised Mr. Tarponweh for the gesture.