JIS News

Seventy-nine students from New York’s Pace University will take time out of their spring break vacation to participate in a service project at the Whitehall Basic School in Negril, Jamaica, on Tuesday, March 16.
University students and staff members will spend the day with Jamaican students and teachers. With assistance from local professionals, they will paint the entire exterior of the school, install a fence and participate in recreational activities.
The initiative was organized by the Pace student group called Blazin Entertainment Activities Team in conjunction with the Pace Centre for Student Development and Campus Activities, the Pace Centre for Community Outreach, the Jamaican Consulate in New York and the Ministry of Industry and Tourism in Jamaica.
Service during spring break is part of a trend on many college campuses in the United States to organize “alternative spring breaks” in response to student interest in community activities instead of, or in addition to, traditional spring break recreation activities.
Guinevere Welch, a representative from the Centre for Community Outreach at Pace University, spoke of the students’ positive response to the upcoming trip. “The students are very excited because, not only will they get to spend their spring vacation in a place as wondrous as Jamaica, but, they have also taken the time to give something back and learn more about the world in which they live,” Ms. Welch said.
“As we speak, they are in the process of collecting children’s books to bring with them to donate to the Whitehall Basic School,” Ms. Welch added.Janet Madden, Community Relations Officer at the Jamaican Consulate in New York, lauded the students’ effort.
“It is inspiring to see that these students have decided to spend some of their vacation involved in community-building endeavours,” Mrs. Madden said.The students will arrive in Jamaica on Saturday, March 13.