Foundation commits $15m to Clarendon, St Elizabeth schools

Foundation commits $15m to Clarendon, St Elizabeth schools

Thursday, October 01, 2020

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SILOAH, St Elizabeth — Thirteen schools are set to benefit from a $15-million commitment in support of their online learning in preparation for the October 5 resumption of schools, through an initiative being undertaken by the J Wray & Nephew Foundation (JWNF).

The initiative, dubbed “JWNF goes digital”, is part of the company's commitment to invest $300 million over the next three years, in support of communities, following the closure of its Siloah-based Appleton sugar factory in July.

Students and teachers of the 13 schools will be provided with tablets, multimedia projectors, stationery kits, and calculators to enhance the online learning experience, a news release said.

The schools supported under this project include Appleton Basic, Middlesex Infant, Thornton Primary and Infant, Siloah Primary, Holland Primary, Balaclava Primary, Magotty High, Roger Clarke High, Aberdeen High, and Sydney Pagon Stem Academy in St Elizabeth.

In Clarendon, the supported schools include York Town Primary, Gimme-Me-Bit Primary, and Race Course Primary.

“JWNF recognises that some of our schools which are in rural communities require additional support to ensure that the students have access to the best quality education,” the release said.

The project will also provide the schools with sanitation supplies, inclusive of hand wash stations, thermometers, face shields, and masks, as well as 800 litres of hand sanitiser and vouchers for $600,000 worth of cleaning supplies.

JWNF Chairman Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence said the project is a continuation of the company's support to communities during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“This back-to-school project is a continuation of our support for our communities during this COVID-19 pandemic. It is a challenging time for our principals, teachers and students. Through our continued dialogue with our schools, we were able to assess where the greatest needs are,” he said.

Lawrence pointed out that the tablets to be dispersed will be loaned to the neediest students for an agreed period.

“Many of the students cannot afford to purchase tablets... The students will have access to the tablets for an agreed period, which will allow them to participate in online classes and complete assignments,” he added.

He also disclosed that the multimedia projectors were among the “most highly requested items from principals, and will aid in the new model of learning, especially among the younger students”.

Lawrence said through a partnership with Roger Clarke High School, 60 handwashing stations were built for distribution.

“We worked with one of our schools, the Roger Clarke High School in Balaclava, to build 60 hand wash stations for distribution to the 10 schools that we support in St Elizabeth,” he said.

The “JWN goes digital” project is part of a series of interventions the foundation has undertaken since July, which includes the distribution of 1,000 food packages in July and a social fair in August. Once schools resume face-to-face learning, the foundation intends to implement a breakfast programme for 10 schools in St Elizabeth, through a partnership with the Sydney Pagon Stem Academy.

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