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JIS News

Some 265 early childhood institutions in St. Catherine communities are to receive furniture, appliances and reading materials under an initiative launched by the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) parish office in Spanish Town.
The programme, which is in collaboration with donor agencies, will benefit institutions in Linstead, Old Harbour, Portmore and Spanish Town.
At a presentation ceremony held yesterday (Aug. 13) on the lawns of the SDC’s office, representatives from 168 basic schools were presented with certificates for items for their respective schools. The remaining schools will receive their certificates next week.
Giving an overview of the programme, SDC Community Development Programmes and Planning Officer, Sandra Goulbourne, said the idea was born out of a vision by the SDC to facilitate improvement in the quality of output of early childhood institutions in the parish.
“This vision followed a series of discussions that we have had with the Early Childhood Commission, the Minister of Education (Hon. Andrew Holness) and in partnership with donors of Food for the Poor,” she said.
Miss Goulbourne informed that an assessment carried out by the SDC had revealed that basic schools were “lacking a number of things.”
“With that in mind, we started the task of how we, in partnership with other agencies, private individuals and private sector agencies, can come to the help of these schools and to get them ready,” she said, noting that a number of donor agencies were approached for assistance.
In an interview with JIS News, Acting Field Services Supervisor at the SDC, Barrington Mighton, said the SDC will be distributing the items next week at a fair to be held at the SDC complex on Port Henderson Road, Spanish Town.
“Come next week, we are going to be having a fair here at the complex where they will come in to pick up whatever they will be getting at that fair,” he said.
According to Mr. Mighton, the distribution process will begin with the handing out of items donated by the Food for the Poor organisation. These include 250 combo desks, 16 chalk boards, 250 boxes of toiletries, 15 cases of cleaning agents, 27 boxes of books and other supplies.
“We are doing this as part of our mandate to actually build communities and we see the early childhood system as building our future. This venture can’t be enough. We are looking to go beyond what we are doing here and actually look at ways and means of improving the infrastructure at the schools rather than just providing furniture and equipment for these schools,” he added.

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