President of the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE) Canada, Mrs. Lorna King, said that despite the economic recession, the charity remains committed to its mandate of assisting Jamaican children at the early childhood level.
Mrs. King, who was speaking recently at the organisation’s annual Christmas Toy and Book Drive held at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto, said that the organistion has had to find new and creative ways to raise funds as people “are just not giving as they used to.”
“The recession has hit all charities hard this year and PACE is no exception. We do understand that for some of our members, this has been a very, very challenging year,” she said.
She informed that partnerships have been forged with different groups such as the Heritage Singers, which recently presented a musical called ‘Old Tyme Country Wedding.’ PACE Canada helped to promote the production by selling tickets and received some of the proceeds from Heritage Singers. The charity is also teaming up with the Association for Black Law Enforcers, to promote that group’s New Year’s Eve ball.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto Canada, George Ramocan addresses the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE) Canada Christmas Toy and Book Drive, held recently at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto. Students from the Rockford Public School look on.
Founded in 1987, PACE Canada has the mandate of assisting Jamaican children in the age group of three to six years. The charity has adopted more than 250 basic schools in Jamaica and impacted some 10,000 lives.
“We have supported the Jamaican Government’s initiative to upgrade teacher skills by donating 13 bursaries for teachers to upgrade their education. We’ve also donated four scholarships to students attending teacher colleges and the University of the West Indies (UWI). In Canada, we’ve funded two bursaries and adopted a second school,” she stated.
Mrs. King said PACE Canada promotes early education and care because “we believe the love and desire to learn should be fostered and cultivated early in life. If a child’s school experience produces a desire for learning, the child will grow up equipped to break the cycle of poverty and generations to come will benefit.”
Jamaica’s newly appointed Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan, lauded the organisation for the work it is doing in Jamaica and Canada, and especially for focussing on children at the basic school level.
Students from the Rockford Public School in Toronto Canada entertained with Christmas carols, at the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE) Canada Christmas Toy and Book Drive, held recently at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto.
“It is really at this very early age we tend to make the greatest impression upon them. It has been recognised that if you need to win the child, if you need to stimulate the child in learning and attitudes, that you have to catch the child within that range of birth to six years old. So, PACE Canada plays an important and critical role,” he stated.
The evening was a festive one, with the audience packing boxes of toys for delivery to schools in Jamaica and Canada, and children from Rockford Public School performing Christmas carols.
Members of PACE Canada will be visiting between 40 and 50 Jamaican schools next year, during the charity’s ‘Adopt-A-School Trip’ from April 25-30, 2010.