JIS News

More than 20 students of the Villa Road Primary and Junior High School in Mandeville, Manchester, should benefit from a Sponsor-A-Child Mentorship Programme, which was launched yesterday (November 22), at the institution.
The programme, which is aimed at improving the academic performance of the students, and to increase their level of attendance, by getting members of the community involved in their total development, is the brainchild of the school’s Guidance Counsellor, Rose Johnson-Smith.
She explained to JIS News that the programme “seeks to sponsor very needy children and mentor them. Our school’s mission statement speaks to the total development of the children and we are hoping that our programme will [help to] provide that”.
“I feel very happy and overwhelmed with the launching ceremony. Already, a number of persons have been coming to me, telling me that they want to sponsor a child and that’s very exciting,” Mrs. Johnson-Smith said.
So far, 15 mentors and four sponsors are involved in the programme, which will begin on Monday, November 27. Some of the sponsors include Tip Friendly Society and the Manchester Co-operative Credit Union, among others.
Acting Principal of the school, Clahar Knight, said that, “we have seen what has been happening in our school and we realise that the family alone is not able to raise children, to instill the values that we would want them to display in our society”.
“We are asking persons to come on board to participate in this mentorship programme, as we know that it will help our students, because we have seen where they need good role models in our society and we know that if we have mentors and sponsors, who will work with these students, that will help them and later on in their lives, they can reflect on the good that some persons did for them,” she said.
Pastor Paul Smith, one of the mentors, expressed his pleasure at being a part of the mentorship programme. “I think it’s a welcoming programme and something that young people can benefit from, in terms of gaining guidance, wisdom and to have a positive role model in their lives,” he said.
Meanwhile, mother of one of the students to be mentored, Lena McKinson, said she “is feeling good to know that there is a project to help the children. I am happy and I am hoping that my son will achieve in his school”.
Also attending ceremony was Georgia Allen, who represented the Custos of Manchester, Dr. Gilbert Allen.