Azul boosts Llandilo School of Special Education's breakfast programme

Observer West writer

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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LLANDILO, Westmoreland —The breakfast programme at the Llandilo School of Special Education in Westmoreland got a well-needed boost last week, when Azul Beach Resort Negril by Karisma, presented the school with a cheque for $73,000 towards the initiative.

Acting vice-principal at the school, Tameka Saffrey, said the donation will go a far way in assisting its breakfast programme.

“It [donation] will go a far way in helping our students to come to school in the mornings and feeling happy going through the day knowing that they have had a hot meal,” she stressed.

Guidance counsellor for the school, Nicole Foster, said the breakfast programme initiative came about as a result of a needs assessment done by the institution five years ago, which revealed that there was an average of 25 students who were coming to school without breakfast.

Under the initiative, some 85 students are now served breakfast and lunch three days per week.

Foster pointed out that the lack of a breakfast, resulted in several problems for students.

“It [no breakfast] was affecting their behaviour; some would complain that they are having abdominal pains; some would complain that they are having other issues. And when we started this programme, we realised the difference that it was making in the lives of the students,” Foster explained.

“Students, for example, on the autism spectrum, who are more hyperactive than the others, once they are hungry, and they come in, you find out that they will be acting up. When we provided them with the breakfast, then we noticed that there was a change in behaviour.”

She said the programme has also assisted in boosting the attendance of students at school, as their parents are certain that their child will get both breakfast and lunch at school.

“We have a programme that provides lunch and transportation as well. So, we are like home away from home for many of the students,” Foster stressed.

Azul's chief concierge Kemar Kerr who presented the cheque to the school, explained that the money was raised from a charity auction held at the hotel in February.

“All of the contribution...we thought it is very important as part of our corporate responsibility, to give all that money back to our communities in which we operate in [Westmoreland and Hanover]. So, we decided to give back this amount, which is $73,000, to Llandilo School of Special Education, which we believe will help immensely in their breakfast programme,” Kerr stated.

He added that the hotel hopes to strengthen the relationship with the school in the near future.

“In whatever way we can contribute, whether it be cash, or kind, or other programmes that our guests may be able to come on board directly, whether it be a reading programme or any other initiative that we deemed fit to enter in,” he explained.

Llandilo School of Special Education caters to students with intellectual disabilities across western Jamaica.

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