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JPS Foundation unveils first playground at model school

Sunday, February 23, 2014    

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STUDENTS at Falmouth Gardens Basic School in Trelawny will now enjoy an enhanced playtime experience thanks to a specially-designed playground facilitated by the JPS Foundation.

The facility was officially unveiled and handed over to the children on February 12.

The playground was conceptualised and designed by engineer, sculptor and contractor Scheed Cole, and features eight fun pieces which are sure to keep the children energised and engaged. In addition to the conventional swings and see-saws, the outdoor play paradise boasts a Noah's ark, a rock climber with tunnel, a sand pit and two life-sized animals that sit above a tyre hill.

Employing creative strategy to the design, Cole was inspired by the fact that the school sits on the same grounds as the Wesleyan Holiness Church. Stirred by this, he created the Noah's ark and positioned the animals to look in the ark's direction. He also paid homage to nature in his designs through his personal contribution of three leaf benches which will allow the children to sit outdoors.

"When the JPS Foundation thought of what a model school of the future should represent, we looked past only making sure they have the right teachers and tools," JPS President and CEO Kelly Tomblin said. "We wanted to go deeper than that and bring out the students' uniqueness. So today we are honouring their special skills and we are proud to present them with this playground."

"School is so much more than learning the core subjects of math and English, the JPS Foundation is pleased to be able to help stir and inspire the students' creativeness and imaginations. This beautifully designed space is for leisure, but will also allow them to explore and discover their individuality, develop social skills and it will play a significant role in their overall cognitive development," noted JPS Foundation Manager Nathelie Taylor.

This is the first specially-designed playground to be installed at one of the three schools under the JPS Foundation's Model Schools Project. The York Town Basic School in Clarendon and the Kingston-based Rennock Lodge Infant School are next in line to receive similar play areas.

The JPS Foundation has also helped with safety and security at the school with the installation of a new gate and fencing.

The JPS Foundation selected the Falmouth Gardens Basic School to be added to its Model School programme in October 2013. Through this three-year initiative, the foundation is helping early childhood institutions meet and surpass standards set by the Early Childhood Commission.

This Falmouth Gardens Basic School student finds a cozy hideaway in the tunnel of the rock climber as another student prepares to climb it during the official handover of the playground to the school on February 12.

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