KINGSTON — Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, yesterday joined residents of Olympic Gardens in sprucing up the Balcombe Drive Primary and Junior High School located in the community.
The school, which caters to 380 students, was cleaned and painted, with trees planted and other minor repair work done as needed.
Minister Holness, who planted a Poui tree, said he was pleased with the large turnout of residents to offer their support to the project.
He told JIS News that the school has been doing very well academically, “and the principal and the community have been working very closely together, so I thought it would be good to highlight them on Labour Day”.
The Minister said that the planting of trees will “make the school environment a more pleasant place”.
He noted that schools “often suffer from a dusty environment and trees can help to alleviate dust. Also it is a good token for demonstrating environmentally friendly practices”.
Minister Holness also planted two trees at the park located at the Olympic Gardens Civic Centre “to demonstrate that we believe in the environment and we want to encourage the community to protect and preserve the environment through tree planting”.
Principal of Balcombe Drive Primary and Junior High, Daniel Clarke, told JIS News that in addition to the planting of flowers and trees, desks and chairs were being repaired.
“We have also started a vegetable nursery for self sustenance, where the students will be able to purchase a bag of seedlings for $20…take those bags to their homes and transplant them,” he informed.
He said that there is still much more to be done at the school, but that these will be undertaken in phases.
Mr. Clarke expressed gratitude to the community for the support given to the Labour Day activity.
“We would have had more persons coming out but I didn’t want to have too many persons here and some not being able to work,” Mr. Clarke said.
Labour Day 2011 is being observed under the theme: “It takes a village to raise a child”, with activities focused on the care and protection of children.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter