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News Article
Students focused on the road to success

To most parents all summer schools are the same -- but that was not the case for parents whose children attended the Forward and Onward to College and Upward to Success (FOCUS) academic supplementary program Summer SLAM (Summer Student Learning and Achievement Mania). The Lyford Cay Foundation sponsored year-round project-based summer camp engaged the 70 student participants in academics by getting them to participate in daily activities that ranged from watching movies, viewing powerpoints on scientists and inventors, writing creatively and factually and exploring the power of group work and team effort.
For many students the unconventional summer camp encouraged them to not only see summer as a time to do more than laze around, but get a jumpstart on their schoolwork as well as ignite a new love for academics.
Because of his participation in the FOCUS Summer SLAM program, 10-year-old Teran Cash's lukewarm feelings about school has changed. The Mabel Walker Primary School student said he is now more excited to learn new things, and about school. The atypical academic summer experience has given Cash the drive to learn new things, and challenge himself to do better in his studies.
"I never had so much fun learning new things before I came to FOCUS," said the first year student. "The program is really nice and it teaches me things I would have never learned in school normally. I think being in the program will give me an advantage over other students who aren't in it. This is a really different kind of summer school and it makes learning fun. I'm really excited for school to start now because I will be ready," he said.

Program has layers
There is another layer to this student friendly program. It is also designed to assist students in the long run so they can further their academic success. After all, every student imagines going to college, fulfilling their dreams and living the life they set their minds to. But with the growing cost of attaining a higher level education such dreams seem almost unattainable and many students simply give up.
Despite the challenges, 10-year-old Margo Scarlett, a student at Oakes Field Primary knows that collegiate success can be attainable as long as she works hard for it. Through
"I like the program because I am learning a lot and my teachers said that I will get a scholarship one day if I do well," said Scarlett of the unique opportunity that sets a foundation for a bright academic future for the students who participate in the nine-year program. "That will be great for my parents so they don't have to worry about it. I like that the camp encourages us to do things together and I'm learning responsibility and things like that. It's also great that I know I will be able to do something great one day without any questions."
FOCUS is a free academic development and enrichment program aimed at transforming the lives of its participants. For teachers, it is an opportunity to be a part of an exciting process. The program provides academic support in a wide range of educational activities, counseling and mentoring to talented, but under-resourced public school students in the fifth to twelfth grades who are
performing at an average or above-average level.
Although it is structured similarly to many summer programs, facilitators stress that FOCUS is not remedial support or a day camp. They say there are many summer programs in New Providence that provide fun activities for children, but few that are solely academics based. But the most impressive aspect of the program is that beyond the fast-paced summer program it also provides ongoing monitoring and assistance throughout the school year.

Preparing them for college
Reaching out to underprivileged children and preparing them mentally and academically to get into good colleges with the promise of scholarships determined on the extent of their hard work is the key to this Lyford Cay sponsored program. For many of the children in the program the chances of getting into college are slim and for others, just getting past the typical primary school class is a challenge, so the program aims to not only teach students everyday things they need for class, but to also push them to see themselves as bigger than their environment and to excel beyond their dreams.
"We try to accomplish this annually by reaching students where they are academically and push them to learn even more through a fun project based curriculum and teach them how to be responsible in the process of each other's learning," said program director, Felicity Humblestone.
"This is more than a summer camp or after school program. We want to reach out to students holistically which is why our lessons are not typically just straightforward Math and English. We incorporate our planned summer project -- inventing makeshift instruments that can be used in a symphony into the subject lessons so they can see how things connect and start thinking more creatively."

Creative lessons
Camp teachers and mentors give students creative history lessons to introduce them to the concept of inventions, learn about inventors and other applicable ideas they would need to make the project come to life. They also did music lessons to get them used to instruments and what models they could base the results of their project on. To get students focused in English they participated in numerous activities from writing plays or stories about inventors, inventions or musical ideas they come up with. Math was also creatively incorporated by having students do problems based on what they learned. They are focused on their project but get all their core subjects packed into one day.
Humblestone said if the program goes the way it should, students should not feel average in a classroom setting. She said they should be able to have a fun and easy-going experience that they can utilize in their future scholastic encounters. As they get older and enter high school, the program adjusts to students' needs and is more college focused to prepare them for tertiary level work.
The academic enrichment program targets students in the northwestern district of public schools and hosts an intense summer program for six weeks from the beginning of July to mid-August. To keep students a step ahead after the school bell tolls there are 15 Saturdays of academic support planned per school semester. Forty students were accepted into the program this year to join the 30 students that were already enrolled.
"We really want to get students to think bigger and do better in their every day work. We want them to be more creative thinkers and have the right mindset to continue to excel," said Humblestone. "It is important for us to start working with students as young as those in grade four because at this point in the pipeline we can work to influence them to be on the right track academically and assist them in problem areas early enough so their ability to do well later down the line is not affected."
Kenny Hall, a first-year student in the program, said the experience he had ignited his imagination about his future. The Woodcock Primary student said he now feels that growing up to be a law enforcement officer is a possibility for him and hopes the program will help him to work hard to attain his goal.
"I don't want to be just any police officer or Defence Force officer. I want to be a smart one so I can raise [through the ranks]," said the nine-year-old. "I know that I have to study really hard and work even harder. So it's good that I will have people who can help me to do well in my schoolwork and teach me new things. I want to be more creative so I'm really happy to be in the program."
Students eligible to apply to be a part of the FOCUS program have to be in the fourth grade in one of the northwestern district of schools which include Oakes Field Primary, T.G. Glover Primary, Woodcock Primary, Mabel Walker Primary, Stephen Dillet Primary, Albury Sayle Primary and Naomi Blatch Primary. They must get recommendations from their teachers as well as have their parents attend an information seminar on the program and give their approval. An application form can be filled out by parent and student. It should also be accompanied by an essay on why they want to be in the program.

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News Article
Welcome to chaos

Arriving to Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) at midday is a journey into chaos. What should be at worst organized chaos is just plain chaos. With too few customs officers, Bahamians and our money-laden tourists descend into mayhem when they expect to be welcomed by the easygoing flow of island life.
It is a frustrating ordeal for all involved. Customs agents meet ill-equipped residents with no receipts, Bahamians rush to reach the customs agent to avoid the lines and tourists stand dazed and confused. Of course, this is after waiting 45 minutes to find your bag on what appears to be the only working conveyor belt with at least three plane loads of people also waiting to find their bags.
Our tourists, predominately from the United States, often have never experienced a customs declaration where an individual may or may not search your bag. It is a nerve-racking experience for first-time travelers at LPIA to wonder what Bahamian officials are looking for in their bags.
While we can breathe a sigh of relief that the new arrivals terminal at LPIA may at least be cleaner and gives the appearance of the 21st century, will customs be improved for both residents and tourists?
Improvement not only comes with infrastructure changes, but also requires an improvement of service. Will customs become part of the e-commerce community? What if Bahamians could prepay customs prior to arrival and show an itemized invoiced receipt with duty payment?
The Bahamas must welcome our tourists and our residents. A first impression is a lasting impression, and the first impression arriving at LPIA is not a good one yet despite the upgrades.

Gun control
It is with absolute horror that we watched the assault on innocent moviegoers unfold at the theater complex in Aurora, Colorado recently. But what is most frightful is the thought that this could happen anywhere.
The Bahamas has strict gun control measures, but clearly our borders are porous and our enforcement is weak. The Nassau Guardian reported July 17, that the Royal Bahamas Police Force removed 319 firearms thus far in 2012, a 24 percent increase over 2011. Ammunition recovery is also higher than 2011 with 5,083 rounds seized.
While we can applaud the recovery and confiscation efforts, the volume of weapons confiscated indicates a worrying trend. There are just simply more weapons out there. Police are not just collecting handguns or shotguns, there are high-powered assault weapons on our streets like the one used at the movie theater.
The night club shooting at East Bay Street and Mackey Street on May 29 that left eight shot with two dead warns of increasingly violent incidents in public places, especially in New Providence. Even more so, these incidents occur in areas deemed safe for tourists, lest we forget the daytime robbery at John Bull.
Even before the Colorado incident, Bahamians went out with increasing trepidation of becoming victims as an innocent bystanders caught between a gang quarrel or domestic dispute. The innocent are arming themselves against the violence. However, it is hard for the guns law-abiding citizens have to match up to high-powered weapons.
The innocent are tired of empty rhetoric on gun control. We must find the remedy in order to significantly reduce the flow of weapons into our country, enforce stiff penalties for those carrying illegal weapons, and teach our children and adults that guns do not solve disputes.

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News Article
The Jung Society of Nassau presents Dr. Dominic Callahan PhD at 2nd Annual Dinner and Movie Evening

Nassau, Bahamas -
Join the Jung Society of Nassau as we watch this amazing film,

Adam Resurrected and hear
the comments of moderator Dr. Dominic Callahan, a Past-President of the
Center for Jungian Studies of South Florida.

We will explore the
question of trauma and destiny and ask whether Adam's destiny was
revealed through the bondage of pointless suffering or the fulfillment
of his deepest  identity, what Jung termed the realization of his life
will.

An evening of

fine dining, film and discovery...

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News Article
Cable Bahamas: Living Up To Promises
Cable Bahamas: Living Up To Promises

"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships." - Andy Warhol

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News Article
20 QUESTIONS

Artist Jessica Colebrook answers this week's 20 Questions from Guardian Arts&Culture.

1. What's been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
Besides watching the emerging personalities of both of my daughters, I would say the most inspirational moment I had in the past five years was watching God truly move in my life and answer prayers of about 10 years ago.

2. What's your least favorite piece of artwork?
My least favorite piece of artwork would be the two tile murals that were in the departure area of the old airport. Gosh, I really hated those!

3. What's your favorite period of art history?
The Renaissance Period.

4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
Coming to America, Clash Of the Titans (1981 version), Ghost, What's Love Got to Do With It, Scream and The Lion King (that's six).

5. Coffee or tea?
Coffee.

6. What book are you reading now?
"Mother, Stranger" by Cris Beam.

7. What project are you working on now?
I am working on my upcoming "Mother and Daughter 3" exhibit scheduled for May at Hillside House as well as ACE 3 "My Flamboyant Bowls and Cups" scheduled to open in October at Doongalik Studios.

8. What's the last show that surprised you?
Can't say at the moment.

9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
Valley Boys for sure. My husband (Carlos) is a Valley and I have grown to respect his position and love for the Valley Boys over the many years we have been together, and so I pledge allegiance to that group (for the time being).

10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
Abaco for sure.

11. What's the most memorable artwork you've ever seen?
Adrian Arleo's "Turtle/Transitions", 2009.

12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
None really.

13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
Adrian Arleo and Oprah.

14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country's history?
Sir Lynden O. Pindling.

15. Who is your favorite living artist?
Adrian Arleo.

16. Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunrise.

17. What role does the artist have in society?
Artists bring life to just about everything. They preserve history and at the same time create history.

18. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Can't recall.

19. What wouldn't you do without?
Spending time with God first thing in the morning.

20. What's your definition of beauty?
If God made it, it's beautiful. There so much beauty in everything, even the bad!

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News Article
Hugo Chavez Venezuelan Leader Dead at 58
Hugo Chavez Venezuelan Leader Dead at 58

President Hugo Chavez was a fighter. The former paratroop commander and fiery populist waged continual battle for his socialist ideals and outsmarted his rivals time and again, defeating a coup attempt, winning re-election three times and using his country's vast oil wealth to his political advantage.

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News Article
I've joined the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store nation

I made an announcement in the office the other day that left many people stunned -- I had just recently visited the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for the first time ever over the weekend. They simply could not believe it.
Yes, for years I've seen and passed Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores (which opened its first store in 1969 in Lebanon, Tennessee) when visiting the United States, but never stopped. To be honest, there are so many restaurants, and good ones at that to chose from, so I had never darkened their doorstep.
It just so happens that I was on a mission with Bahamasair's manager for international sales, Woodrow 'Woody' Wilson and Star 106.5 FM and Hot 91.7 Programming Manager Tony Williams on a jaunt to West Palm Beach, Florida, and we took a drive down to Miami, and I was hungry. We were talking about where to eat and of course Woody spoke about how Cracker Barrel is a Sunday tradition for his family after church. I told him I'd never been there. The rubber on the tires burned as he pulled into the parking lot.
After the experience I had, I returned home and told my husband that on our next trip, we had to visit Cracker Barrel as they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Woody, Tony and I all opted for breakfast even though we could have gotten away with ordering lunch, considering it was the brunching hour. And being the nut lover that I am, the pecan pancakes called out to me - three buttermilk pancakes loaded with pecans and served with butter and a warm bottle of 100 percent pure natural vsyrup, with a side of turkey sausage.
Woody and Tony went with Momma's Pancake Breakfast - three buttermilk pancakes and two eggs with sausage patties.
When the plate was placed before me I was salivating - the pancakes just looked delicious, and they were chockfull of chunky pecans. I did not have to go searching for morsels. I had been considering ordering extra nuts when I ordered seeing as I love pecans that much, but I didn't have to. I dug in, and I was in heaven. The three pancakes were fluffy, light and delicious, topped with a drizzle of their warmed syrup poured out of individual bottles. They were also too big for me to finish, but goodness knows I extracted as many nuts as I could eat before I had to put down the fork.
In case you were like me and hadn't been to Cracker Barrel before, it's a restaurant you must seek out on your next visit to the United States. They also offer a Wild Maine Blueberry Pancake and French toast.
And if you're a fan of country cooking, you can get it all at Cracker Barrel - meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken fried steak, catfish platter, chicken n' dumplins, fried okra, pinto beans cooked with country ham and served with corn muffins, turnip greens cooked with country ham... and the list just goes on and on. If you're watching your calorie intake, they do offer salads... just sayin'.
While I've only had the pecan pancakes, and haven't tried anything from the lunch and dinner menu, I'm already looking forward to my next visit to the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for another stab at those pecan pancakes. Maybe I'll even try something from the lunch and dinner menu once I've gotten over my pecan pancake obsession.
Might I add that upon entering the establishment, which means that as you exit, you have to pass through the Old Country Store, which sells everything from apparel and accessories to food and candy, furniture and home items, gifts and gift cards, music, movies and books, toys and games and personal care items. Of course, my eyes were looking left and right, but leave it up to Woody to keep me on track -- we had to get to Miami for an interview.
I've finally joined the Cracker Barrel nation and don't think I'll be leaving any time soon. I can't wait to introduce my husband to their pancakes. He's a buttermilk kind of guy so I know he will enjoy them.
Just for your information, Cracker Barrel is open Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and there is a location in at least 43 continental U.S. states, so you're bound to find one wherever you go.

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News Article
Letter: Shocked by behaviour of MPs in House of Assembly

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I was shocked and very dismayed at the behaviour displayed by Members in the Honourable House of Assembly and the lack of respect they seem to have for each other!

I tuned in to Channel 40 yesterday because as a Bahamian I was really interested in the debate concerning BTC. I wanted to hear both sides of the debate, but I was so stunned by the rudeness in the House of Assembly that I thought for a moment that I had to be watching a nightmare movie. Members of the House carried on like a bunch of small children, each trying to get their own way - not in trying to get their point across, but in trying to score political points! All this at the expense of the Bahamian publi ...

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News Article
20 QUESTIONS

Bahamian artist Michael Edwards answers this week's 20 Questions from The Nassau Guardian's Arts&Culture.

1. What's been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
Difficult to say. Most recently sharing the road with a 91-year-old who ran 26.2 miles - I didn't make it quite that far.

2. What's your least favorite piece of artwork?
Can't think of any.

3. What's your favorite period of art history?
Mid 20th century - Abstract Expressionism.

4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
o Schindler's List
o The Usual Suspects
o The Shawshank Redemption
o Being John Malkovich
o The last name escapes me right now but it was by Ingmar Bergman

5. Coffee or tea?
I try to limit my caffeine intake as much as possible.

6. What book are you reading now?
"Wilderness and The American Mind" - great read.

7. What project are you working on now?
An environmental public art initiative to commemorate the country's 40th year of independence. It will be inter-disciplinary in nature for a systems thinking approach in order to regenerate and draw people to the proposed site.

8. What's the last show that surprised you?
Don't recall - sorry.

9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
None - they are distracted by the parade competition.

10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
Lutra.

11. What's the most memorable artwork you've ever seen?
That's a tough one. Perhaps Cloaca - Art(ificial) Shit Machine.

12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
None.

13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
Hedley Edwards - such creative vision and hustle.

14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country's history?
In terms of the modern economic model - perhaps give the nod to Sir Stafford Sands. It has not been challenged up to this point but I suspect it will be soon.

15. Who is your favorite living artist?
Don't have one as yet.

16. Sunrise or Sunset?
The former.

17. What role does the artist have in society?
To challenge the status quo;
To reimage and represent narratives;
To hold up a different lens through which to experience things;
To broaden the concept of creativity.

18. What's your most embarrassing moment?
The first day of repeating the eighth grade.

19. What wouldn't you do without?
Peanut Butter.

20. What's your definition of beauty?
Number 16 - early morning run watching the sun break the horizon.

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News Article
A reflection on Robert Kennedy's Presentation and its Bearing on the Country

Dear Editor,
The room was packed at The College of The Bahamas on Monday, January 21 at 11 a.m. when Robert Kennedy Jr. addressed students, staff and faculty of the college as well as interested persons from the wider community.

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