JIS News

More children at the Ascot Primary School in Portmore, St. Catherine will benefit from the institution’s feeding programme, with the donation of a new three-burner industrial open range stove, from Councillor of the Greater Portmore North Division, Michael Edwards.
The handing over of the appliance took place during the school’s Culture Day (Jamaica Day), which took place on Friday (Feb. 20).
Principal, Jean Fearon told JIS News that out of a population of more than 1,247 the school currently offers a cooked meal to some 200 students on a daily basis.
She says following a needs assessment it was recognised that some students who were doing poorly in their academics was as a result of either not having breakfast before coming to school or not having anything to eat during the day.
“We have approximately 200 children who come here on a daily basis some without breakfast, some without lunch and sometimes they’re ill in the morning and we have to give them a hot drink so if we have the stove we can give them some porridge or something. It would do a lot of good for the children,” she said.
She pointed out that the school subscribes to the Ministry’s School Feeding Programme where children are given lunches for a token fee. There’s also the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) which provides some students with free lunches while there are others who spend their lunch money before getting to school, then pretend they have not received any, she informed. “You know how children are. Sometimes when we call home parents are surprised and tell us that they did give lunch money. So we find a few but that’s very minimal,” she said.
Mr. Edwards told JIS News that when he was approached by Chairman of the school Board, Claude Hamilton for assistance and he did his investigations and realised that students were being plagued by poor performances because of not eating properly he immediately offered support.
“I told the Chairman I wanted to make a substantial and significant contribution,” he said.
He noted that with the addition of the stove the school’s feeding programme would be able to provide for more students, contributing to their health and better grades.

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