Western News

Bickersteth Primary and Infant School seeks help to refurbish resource centre

Thursday, August 16, 2018

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BICKERSTETH, St James — Bickersteth Primary and Infant School in rural St James is in need of assistance to refurbish its resource centre and to rehabilitate the school buildings in time for the reopening of school in September.

“The most pressing need for the school, at this point, is a resource room where children can use technological devicessuch as the computer, which will help them to complete homework, projects and also to pursue activities on the new curriculum that we are now working with,” said Andrea Allen, then acting principal of the Bickersteth Primary and Infant School.

Allen stated that assistance was also needed to repair the roof and floor of the main buildings at the institution.

She stated that if the resource centre was to be refurbished, students would be able to complete assignments and projects in a more convenient setting. “Our teachers could also use the computers to implement more innovative learning,” she stressed.

Bickersteth Primary and Infant School is one of 14 schools identified across the country for funding being sought through the Pledge2Build Project, a crowd funding campaign established to upgrade infant and primary schools.

Well-wishers can donate to the school's project via the iSupportJamaica.com, a crowdfunding platform established by the Jamaica National Group.

Phillip Lindsay, operations officer, iSupportJamaica, at the JN Group, said donating to the initiative via the platform is simple and secure. “Jamaicans, locally and overseas, along with friends of Jamaica, can provide financial support to micro-enterprises and not-for-profit entities, such as Bickersteth Primary and Infant School,” Lindsay informed.

Interested individuals can donate to this initiative by visiting the iSupport Jamaica. com platform at www.isupportjamaica. com, click on project; and then click the 'Fund Project' button, the operations officer explained. Donations can also be made via credit card, JN Live E-banking, by visiting any JN branch or MoneyShop; and through interbank transfers.

The school was established during the 19th century by Edward Johnson, a Baptist deacon, who donated a plot of his land for the establishment of a church school, under the control of the Mt Carey Baptist Church. An Englishman and Baptist missionary by the name of “Bickersteth” was the chief person who helped to build the school, and, as a result, the educational institution Bickersteth Elementary School was named in his honour.

The school continued on the church property until 1950, when land was acquired from a 'Mr Barrett' and the Government established the now Bickersteth Primary School, renaming it after the community in which it was built.

The need for adequate space, as the enrolment increased, resulting in the erection of additional buildings that are now used as classrooms and canteen facilities. A very active community council was formed after the school was established, and a 'soup kitchen' was erected to provide meals for the children, as well as the infant department, which consequently changed the institution to become a primary and infant school.

The Pledge2Build campaign was developed to raise funds for capital improvement of early childhood and primary institutions across Jamaica.

The objective of the campaign is to ensure that schools are safe and provide children with a positive learning environment.

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