Foundation set up at Tivoli Gardens High to help needy students

Foundation set up at Tivoli Gardens High to help needy students

BY NICHOLAS MARTIN Observer writer

Friday, June 20, 2014

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PAST students of Tivoli Gardens High School in West Kingston have launched a foundation in honour of former principal Jeanette Grant Woodham to help needy students fund their studies.

The Jeanette Grant Woodham Education Foundation will, beginning in September, offer bursaries to needy students who display excellence in the areas of sports, arts and culture. The grants will be offered in separate categories with lower and upper school students receiving grants of $10,000 and $15,000, respectively. The foundation will also establish a homework and mentorship programme

"The foundation aims to increase the number of students who matriculate to tertiary-level training. [Its] mission is to engage past students, community partners, and the private sector as it seeks to stimulate excellence and raise the educational performance at the Tivoli Gardens High School by funding grants and scholarships for students," explained Kiddo Smith, chairman of the foundation.

"Tivoli Gardens High School is more than an educational institution; it is responsible for the social development of its students. Thus, the need for the establishment of this foundation," he added.

Explaining the rationale to name the foundation after the former principal, treasurer Carlton Francis said the institution saw its most rapid expansion during the tenure of Grant Woodham. He urged corporate Jamaica to assist the cause by following entities, such as Royale Computers and Accessories, which has already shown its support through a donation of electronics.

Meanwhile, a tearful Grant Woodham, who served the institution for 23 years, said she was honoured to have the foundation named after her. Grant Woodham, who served as a senator for many years and became Jamaica's first female president of the Senate in 1984, spoke of the strong link maintained by the alumnus of the institution.

"Everywhere I went there was someone who went to Tivoli," she said during her address, which was punctuated by her shedding tears of joy.

She later managed to elicit a few smiles as she made an appeal to the audience to purchase tickets for the official launch of the foundation in August.

The promotional campaign for the foundation began with Wednesday's launch and will culminate with the official launch on August 4 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. That event will be held under the patronage of former prime minister Edward Seaga, who served as member of Parliament for West Kingston for many years.

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