The learning and teaching environment at the Tredegar Park All Age School in St. Catherine has been significantly enhanced by the donation of school supplies, books and equipment to the institution by the United States Embassy.
The donations form part of a larger donation, which also includes furniture, appliances, and office material, valued at some US$66,068 (approximately $5.69 million), which have been provided to over five schools and community organisations under the United States Southern (Military) Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Humanitarian Assistance Programme.
United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Pamela Bridgewater, made a symbolic presentation during a ceremony at the institution on Wednesday (February 29).
In her address, Ms. Bridgewater said the donations were part of the Embassy’s and SOUTHCOM's efforts to strengthen the bond between Jamaica and the USA. Noting that the community of Tredegar Park had experienced some “tough times”, she told the students and teachers that this would only serve to “make you stronger”.
“These are some bright young people here. They are smart, they have aspirations and goals. You (students) too can be all that you can be. And we are so happy that our Mission, our Embassy here, has been able to provide (these) items that are going to help increase and improve your learning here. These gifts…we know, are going to make a difference in your learning environment. This is just a start in a lasting relationship between your community and the United States Embassy and the Government of the USA,” Ms. Bridgewater stated.
In her remarks, Education Officer for the Ministry of Education’s Region Six, Vivienne Stewart, in welcoming the gesture, said the items would support the Ministry’s educational goals, particularly among the primary age group cohort, of 100 per cent mastery in literacy and at least 85 per cent in numeracy, by 2015.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Catherine, where the school is situated, Denise Daley, in her remarks, noted that institutions of learning “can only succeed when we build partnerships with donors”.
“As we celebrate 50 years of Independence, let us build stronger partnerships… (to) improve the…quality of education throughout the public schools in Jamaica. And… it must be (through) partnerships (involving) all stakeholders, parents (and) the community (among others),” Ms. Daley said, while expressing gratitude for the gesture.
Other beneficiaries include: the Tredegar Park High School; the offices of the Social Development Commission (SDC), and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in Spanish Town; and the De La Vega community centre, in St. Catherine, and the Flanker Peace and Justice Centre, and Peace Management Initiative (PMI) office in Montego Bay St. James.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter