Tiny Turtles Preschool, a fixture on Green Turtle Cay for the last thirty years, is about to close its doors, not just for the summer, but for the last time as founder Annabelle Cross has retired.
Considered a very successful and vital part of the community, Tiny Turtles was started 29 years ago by Mrs. Cross who partnered with Denise Parker to fill a need, following in her grandmother’s (Amy Roberts) footsteps.
While the future of Tiny Turtles is uncertain, as Mrs. Parker is said to be weighing whether to continue or not, it was said by Green Turtle Cay District Council’s Chief Councillor Matthew Lowe that “what we see as an institution for learning, a preschool for our children, was merely a “private enterprise” as it was referred to by the Ministry of Education. Sadly, I don’t think the efforts of these two teachers were recognized by our educational system, but boy, what a difference they made regardless.”
Meanwhile he noted that the Ministry of Education is considering adding a kindergarten class to Amy Roberts Primary.
Mr. Lowe, himself a former student of Tiny Turtles, said, “Annabelle and Denise worked very diligently with every child that walked through the doors at that school. It is at that point in kids’ lives that they learn some of the most important lessons in life.”
“I always wondered if there would ever be a kid that Annabelle and Denise just couldn’t handle, but I never saw that kid. Their tactics, whatever they were, always seem to work and in a matter of a few weeks those students were usually all settled in.”
He said that the students were taught to respect one another, to respect adults and to also respect God.
“If Mrs. Amy Roberts was here this evening to see what her granddaughter has accomplished, she would be overjoyed and truly proud. She would have to say that she went above and beyond the calling to do what she has done,” he said.
Mr. Lowe commented that the community may not realize the “enormous impact that Tiny Turtles Preschool has made in the lives of our children in this community. Not having Tiny Turtles anymore, I would say is not just losing an important pillar in our society, rather I think it is more like losing an important foundation which we all know is necessary in any building process.”
He said that he felt especially honoured and that it is a fitting testament to the work of Annabelle and Denise, “that I am here as chief councilor to thank them both for what they did in my life as well as for what they did in the lives of so many in this community.”
Mr. Lowe said that for almost 30 years Annabelle and Denise displayed an “extraordinary level of commitment, determination, and selflessness and for that we are forever grateful.”
“Tonight is a bittersweet occasion. We are here to congratulate and recognize these students of Tiny Turtles Preschool, especially the graduates, for their hard work reaching their goal of graduating. However, we also have to acknowledge the end of an era. We must say goodbye to Mrs. Annabelle Cross, a woman who had the vision and determination to begin what we now see as our kids’ early lives. We must also acknowledge her very committed partner in her journey, Mrs. Denise Parker. Not sure, at this time, of her future, nevertheless she has played an important role in making Tiny Turtles Preschool a success.”