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Scores of children receive back-to-school supplies

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Scores of children from Harbour View and Bull Bay in East Rural St Andrew received educational supplies and free health checks at separate back-to-school-treats hosted by Member of Parliament Juliet Holness.

The students, who will be attending basic, primary and high schools in September, received knapsacks and lunch bags, notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, and book vouchers. They were also treated to food and entertainment.

The Guardian Group mobile medical unit travelled to the communities, providing medical checks for children and adults.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Holness said the initiative aims to alleviate some of the costs associated with back-to-school expenses, while providing a day of fun and entertainment for the children.

“We are making every effort to provide them (with some of the materials they need) so that the funds the parents have (can be used) to purchase textbooks,” she said.

Holness noted that the treats, which are being staged for the second year, have had a significant impact on the lives of the beneficiaries.

“There are many children and their parents who will tell you I am grateful for a bag. Some people will think of it as very basic, but it means that they can buy something else with that money.There are some children who take their bags to school year after year, even after it is tattered and torn,” she told JIS News.

She noted that “many persons have come back to say 'thank you', because it has helped two or three or four of my children or grandchildren, and that makes it worth the while”.

During the day, the children were treated to a tasty meal, jumped in a bounce about and on a trampoline, and enjoyed ring games and other activities.

Holness thanked the sponsors, which included China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), Pavilion Jewellers, Yello, Bigga Wholesale, Serendipity Holistic Resort, Patels, along with personal donors.

She informed that 10 such back-to-school treats will be held across the constituency.

The others will take place at the Dallas Castle Community Centre, and Kintyre Community Centre on August 17; Dublin Castle/Content Gap, and Mavis Bank High School, August 20; Irish Town-UCC Craighton Estate, and Savage Pen Playfield, August 22; and Top Maryland and Woodford Two Trees on August 23.

Cecilia, a resident of Bull Bay, who turned out with her son and grandson, expressed appreciation for the staging of the event.

“It is a good thing for the kids that they can enjoy themselves during the summer, and when they go back to school they can share their experiences with their friends,” she said.

She welcomed the school supplies, noting that “many parents cannot afford it, so I am happy for that”.

Another resident, Shelly-Ann Edwards said giving back to the community is paramount and lauded Holness for the initiative.

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