MONTEGO BAY – A number of schools in western parishes have benefitted from refurbishing works, as residents turned out to “lend a hand to build our land” on Labour Day (May 23).
Among the institutions that received a facelift were: the Orange Bay Basic School in Hanover; St. Mary’s Primary School in St. Elizabeth; and the Roaring River Early Childhood Institution in Westmoreland.
At Orange Bay, which was the parish project for Hanover, work included painting of walls, cleaning of the school grounds, erection of a perimeter fence, and other construction work.
Funding for the project came from the Hanover Parish Council and Western Hanover Member of Parliament, Ian Hayles, who contributed $100,000.
Volunteers came from the immediate community, the Lucea Skills Training Centre, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Principal at the school, Linda Cole, expressed gratitude for the work done and the large turnout of volunteers “to make life better for the 50 students and four teachers” at the institution.
“I want to say a big thank you to everybody – the Mayor, the parents, the community members, and for everybody, who turned out and make this day a success,” she stated.
Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Shernet Haughton, also commended the community participation in the project.
“I am so pleased at what I am seeing at the Orange Bay Basic School and the support that we got from the police, from community members, teachers and students,” the Mayor said.
“The people of Hanover have proven again what this school means to all of us, and why we must give our time to build our communities,” he added.
Mr. Hayles, who participated in the workday, stated that the school is important to the people of Orange Bay. He said the erection of the fence will ensure the safety of the students.
“The level of volunteerism that I have seen here… shows that there are still citizens who care about their country and where we are going. I love the level of volunteers, who supported the parish project and the other projects across Hanover,” Mr. Hayles said.
Over in St. Elizabeth, volunteers from the National Youth Service (NYS) joined community members in putting in permanent classroom partitions at the St. Mary’s Primary School.
While the work was not completed on Labour Day, Principal of the school, Brent James, said it will continue.
“What was done will certainly cause the students to be more focused and enhance teaching. By virtue of putting in these partitions it will also remove the blackboards (used as partitions) and transform the classrooms. It was a great day,” Mr. James stated.
The community spirit was also evident at the Roaring River Early Childhood Institution, where persons installed a ceiling and carried out improvements to bathroom facilities.
CONTACT: GARFIELD ANGUS
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE