The Kiwanis Club – Division 25 (Cornwall) has commenced the implementation of its ‘Playground Effect’ Project, which entails the construction of playgrounds at 14 basic schools across western Jamaica, in partnership with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), at a cost of $6 million.
Kiwanis Divisional Lieutenant Governor, Glenda Miller, made the announcement during a media launch at the Hard Rock Café in Montego Bay, St. James, on November 15.
She said beneficiary institutions are six schools in St. James, three each in St. Elizabeth and Hanover, and one each in Trelawny and Westmoreland.
Mrs. Miller indicated that in addition to developing playgrounds at the schools, the Club has commenced capacity building training workshops for 20 parents from each of the institutions.
These workshops, five of which have already been completed, will be hosted from November 2018 to May 2019.
Mrs. Miller said the objectives of the project are: to promote the positive development of children, aged three to five; explore and provide capacity building support for parents; as well as supporting the students’ social, psycho-social and financial needs.
Early Childhood Officer at the ECC, Faithlyn Lyle, lauded the Club for embarking on the project, noting that “the Commission endorses this very important initiative” adding that “we are very appreciative of the partnership”.
Ms. Lyle said development of the playgrounds will result in the schools receiving an acceptable rating for items 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 of the Early Childhood Operational Standards, which focus on the availability and safety of playgrounds.
This, she added, will result in the schools receiving a certificate of registration from the ECC.
The Kiwanis Club hopes to acquire project financing through their fundraising activities as well as sponsorship from various entities.
Sponsors already on board are: the National Health Fund (NHF), Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), Kiwanis Children’s Fund, Hanover Charities, Spanish-Jamaican Foundation and Hard Rock Café.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.