Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
Eslyn Henley Richiez Centre is celebrating another year after opening their doors to students who are differently-abled forty seven years ago.
Principal, Mrs. Vansittart Huggins said the staff and students observed the day in collaboration with Reading is Fun Week at the J. R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens.
“Our two guests were Sister Veta Greenwood from the Long Look Full Gospel Sunday School,” Mrs. Huggins said, adding, “She is a support of the school. She presented the story ‘Sammy’s Magic Stick” and Dr. Allison Flax-Archer from the UNESCO office read the story entitled “Roar at the Zoo”.
The first special education school was established on October 12, 1972 by the BVI Red Cross under the leadership of the wife of then Governor, D. G. Cudmore.
“The Fort Charlotte Children’s Centre opened in an old Public Works Department storeroom at McNamara. The two staff members were Mrs. Eslyn Henley Richiez, the Principal and Miss Alice Leonard, the janitor and helper who was also a person with special physical needs,” Mrs. Huggins outlined.
The Principal said the school started with only six students at the time and admission was based on the advice of medical doctors and the Mental Health Officer.
In 1997, the centre relocated to John’s Hole in one of the government’s residential houses and on March 13, 1998, Fort Charlotte Children’s Centre was officially renamed Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre in honour of its first principal.
Today, the centre is operating at Althea Scatliffe Primary School as a result of damage to its building from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The Principal, staff and students are looking forward to return to the centre’s location at John’s Hole for its 48th birthday.
Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre’s vision is for students to become productive and accepted citizens of the community.
Attached: Document: History of Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre