Feature
Lloyd Walker Homework Centre
Photo: Contributed

Story Highlights

  • The country’s 311th Community Access Point (CAP) was established recently in memory of a young man who, despite spending only 24 years on earth, left a strong impression in the hearts and minds of the people in his community.
  • Located at the Pembroke Hall Primary School in St. Andrew, the Lloyd Walker Junior Community Access Point was started as a Homework Centre by a mother seeking to continue the work of her son in the community.
  • For years, Lloyd Walker was like a big brother to the students of Pembroke Hall and would dedicate hours to assisting struggling students with their assignments. His mother, Joan Waller-Walker discovered her son’s good and selfless deeds after his untimely death in early 2008.

The country’s 311th Community Access Point (CAP) was established recently in memory of a young man who, despite spending only 24 years on earth, left a strong impression in the hearts and minds of the people in his community.

Located at the Pembroke Hall Primary School in St. Andrew, the Lloyd Walker Junior Community Access Point was started as a Homework Centre by a mother seeking to continue the work of her son in the community.

For years, Lloyd Walker was like a big brother to the students of Pembroke Hall and would dedicate hours to assisting struggling students with their assignments. His mother, Joan Waller-Walker discovered her son’s good and selfless deeds after his untimely death in early 2008.

Lloyd Walker

 

”Two weeks after his death, two parents came to our home to tell us that Lloyd was assisting their children with their homework,” Mrs Waller-Walker says. Learning that her son was positively impacting the lives of members of the community sparked a desire in Mrs. Waller-Walker to build on her son’s initiative.

But establishing the Homework Centre was fraught with challenges in the initial stages, including securing a venue to host classes.

“We tried other schools, but it’s not very easy to get in to do these things in schools sometimes. The past principal, Norma McNeil, opened her heart to us and said yes you can come and have the homework programme there (Pembroke Hall Primary). And that’s how we started on a Sunday,” she tells JIS News.

Beginning officially in January 2009, the Homework Centre’s first group consisted of 76 children. Mrs. Waller-Walker was ably assisted by 10 volunteers and Mrs. McNeil.

The focus of the Homework Centre is assisting students at the grade-six level to prepare for the then Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), now the Primary Exit Profile (PEP).

According to Mrs. Waller-Walker, all the subject areas are covered at the Homework Centre, including Mathematics, English, Social Studies, the Sciences and Communication Task.

Mrs. Joan Waller-Walker, mother of Lloyd Walker, at the recent opening ceremony of the 311th Community Access Point, located at the Lloyd Walker Homework Centre, at Pembroke Hall Primary School in St. Andrew

 

The Centre is now looking to expand its focus, given the surge in interest, willingness and capabilities of the team of volunteers, whose ranks have swelled over the years.

Mrs. Waller-Walker says the volunteers are specialists in areas such as Economics, Computer Science and English, and as such, it is the vision of the Centre’s management team that one day their service will expand to assisting

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the Lloyd Walker Homework Centre was transformed, thanks to the Universal Service Fund (USF). Now the facility not only assists grade 6-level students with homework, but also gives students and members of the surrounding communities unlimited access to the Internet, free of charge.

In an interview with JIS News, current Principal of Pembroke Hall Primary, Ricardo Valentine, lauded the USF for enhancing what was already a great initiative.

He indicated that plans are being devised to improve access, so that more persons from the surrounding communities can benefit from the facility, while safeguarding the students of the school. The centre boasts 23 computers, a printer and a scanner. A solar system was also installed by the USF.