JIS News

Some 300,000 Primary school students islandwide are set to benefit from a donation of US$225,000 worth of Math textbooks under the I PLEDGE programme.
The initiative, ‘I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education’, launched in May of 2004, with the aim of raising US$225,000 for the printing of Math textbooks for Primary school students up to grade 5, is a collaborative effort of Grace Kennedy Remittance Services, Western Union International, the United States Embassy, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the American Friends of Jamaica, the American Chamber of Commerce in Jamaica and the Jamaican Government, through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture.
I PLEDGE is an extension of ‘Building Bridges, the Florida-Jamaica Connection’, a year-long initiative designed to foster co-operation and economic links between Florida and Jamaica, spearheaded by United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Sue Cobb.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony at the Rousseau Primary School in Kingston today (October 13), Ambassador Cobb said the US embassy was pleased to be “part of the solution”, being aware of the unavailability of sufficient financial resources to procure texts for the growing school population.
Mrs. Cobb said it was hoped the model public/private partnership would be a catalyst, spurring similar partnerships to stimulate corporate social responsibility, both in Jamaica and the United States. She commended all the partners of the initiative for their commitment to education.
In her remarks, Education, Youth and Culture Minister, Maxine Henry-Wilson expressed gratitude to the partners and assured them that the texts, which were painstakingly compiled, would be put to good use.Minister Henry-Wilson encouraged students to exercise care in handling the material. “This represents an investment in you.what you get from this, nobody can take away from you,” she told the students in attendance.
Executive Director of Grace Remittance, Joan Marie Powell said for the entity, the I PLEDGE programme presented an opportunity to “assist in the development of the nation’s human capital”, consequently contributing to the development of Jamaica.
“Whatever is good for Jamaica must be good for Grace Kennedy and that’s where we see our opportunities,” she emphasized.
The Executive Director noted that the aggressive role being played by the entity in educating the next generation stemmed from the realization that the only way to solve any problem was to commit resources and execute initiatives. “This we will do if we are serious about moving our country forward.talk alone will not do,” she said.
She also assured that although this leg of the I PLEDGE programme, which spanned the September 2004/05 academic year has ended, the initiative would be continued.

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