Why Give to Cedar?

 

There are many compelling reasons to give to Cedar. We can’t hope to list them all here, but we do hope to give you some insight into the hopes and aspirations we have for the school, the essential role Cedar plays in the BVI community, and the challenges we face while pursuing excellence and securing a sustainable future for generations to come.

 

The donor wall at Cedar International School, representing and thanking generous donors (over $5K/year).

Tuition accounts for just 93% of the schools operating costs. To charge the actual cost of a Cedar education would put an excessive financial strain on many families, and put a Cedar education out of reach for many. Far from raising more funds, reliance on tuition alone would likely lead to a net reduction in income, and more importantly, a net reduction in educational opportunity in the BVI.

Financial aid based on need is currently awarded to approximately 25% of Cedar students. This is underwritten by the school, and amounts to in excess of $400,000 Cedar gives annually in the form of an unfunded discount. While this is a financial challenge, it is an essential programme that brings diversity and strength to the student body, opens more opportunities to more people, and is one we are keen to not only continue, but expand.

The gap between tuition and operating costs, in addition to capital projects and development, must be filled by fundraising initiatives. In order for the school to plan and grow in a considered and ambitious way, that keeps it at the forefront of education and maximises the school experience for its students, we need even greater support.

  • To grow in a considered, ambitious, sustainable manner.
  • To increase access to a Cedar education, regardless of the ability to pay.
  • To expand our scholarship programme, offering opportunity to more, nurturing home grown talent.
  • To remain at the forefront of educational and technological advancements.
  • To improve and expand our facilities benefiting not only the students, but the wider BVI community who so frequently use them.

Cedar’s role in the community

Giving to Cedar clearly helps the students, but what impact does the school have on the wider BVI community, and what do you help to support by giving to Cedar?

  • The ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the immediate School community is really quite remarkable. There can’t be many schools of Cedar’s size that have 42 (at the last count) nationalities represented in the student body. BVI Belongers and other Caribbean nationals account for 40% of the student body.
  • Need-based financial aid is allocated to 25% of Cedar Students. This combined with the BVI Scholarship Fund amounts to $550,000 Cedar gives annually to increase access to quality education.
  • The BVI Scholarship Fund, conceived to provide the BVI community with greater access to the programs offered at Cedar, opens doors to opportunities that would otherwise not be attainable, and brings talent and diversity to Cedar.
  • The BVI’s vibrant business community needs the ability to recruit internationally, and the presence of an International School, offering the International Baccalaureate, a gold standard education curriculum recognised the world over, is an essential component to recruiting and retaining talent with school age children.
  • Cedar Students are continually involved with Community service. It is a fundamental and required part of the IB curriculum. You will regularly see Cedar students raising funds or volunteering for the Humane Society, Cancer Awareness, food drives for Haiti and the Family Support Network, participating in beach cleanups, or reading books to the Adina Donovan Home residents.
  • Cedar students partnered with Rotary to charter the first school-based Interact Club in the BVI, and have taken on projects such as painting St. George’s playground and partnering with an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
  • Cedar’s wide ranging After School Clubs Programme has been opened to the BVI community, offering additional variety and opportunity to those attending other schools.
  • Our sports facilities are regularly used by the wider community, for example the all weather synthetic pitch hosts various soccer groups after school hours and our cricket nets are used by the BVI Cricket Federation.
  • Cedar makes available its premises for fundraisers, for example recently hosting an auction raising funds for the restoration of St. Phillips Church, the first free church in Kingstown, Tortola. Theatre and dance groups regularly use the atrium at Cedar as a rehearsal space
  • Our faculty are heavily involved in numerous community initiatives. Several regularly volunteer at the local prison teaching inmates and assisting with reading skills.
  • Cedar works in co-operaion with the public education system, indeed Cedar’s Board of Trustees includes representatives from HLSCC, and Cedar teachers have conducted professional development workshops for public school teachers in recent years.
  • Cedar students have been recipients of “Emerging Fellow Awards” from the BVI Ministry of Education every year since their inception.
  • Cedar teachers use the community as an extension of the classroom: inviting in guest speakers such as HLSCC instructor and local poet Natalio Wheatley, aka Sowande Uhuru, HLSCC instructor Dr. Katherine Smith, Teacher Lynden, who runs the BVI Reading Council to name a few.
  • Cedar’s Librarian serves in an official role as community liaison to connect Cedar with guest speakers and ensure participation in community events. She receives a stipend to attend classes at HLSCC on VI history, literature, ecology, and culture.
  • The School enthusiastically participates in VI Culture Week and guests from the community, including the fungi band the Lashing Dogs, are incorporated into the events.
  • Cedar students participate in interscholastic events, including academic competitions (debates, spelling bees, poetry and essay contests, etc.) and athletic leagues (football, rugby, cricket, track and field, etc.)
  • Cedar hosts an annual football tournament for all BVI high schools.
  • Cedar students represent the BVI in squash, tennis, swimming, sailing, football, and rugby.
  • Former Cedar students represented the BVI in Winter Olympics at Sochi in 2014 and two Cedar alumni currently represent the BVI on the Olympic Sailing team.

Cedar students have had much success in recent years, and our BVI Belonger students have been at the forefront of this success. Recent successes by BVI Belonger students include:

  • Placement in elite U.S. universities, including University of California, Berkeley, Emory University, Boston College, Bates College.
  • First place in BVI Business Development Competition 2014 by a team of three Grade 11 students, all BVI Belongers.
  • Junior Minister of Tourism 2014, earned through participation in a debate sponsored by the Department of Tourism.
  • Earning the highest SAT score ever earned by a Cedar student.

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about our giving programmes, or would like to become a donor, please contact our Development Director, Vijay Chitnis.

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