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Vivian Reid hailed as 'super hero' for Lucea Learning Centre

BY ROSALEE WOOD
Observer West writer

Thursday, June 25, 2020

LUCEA, Hanover - On a day when he should be receiving gifts and be pampered, long-standing sponsor of the Lucea Learning Centre, Vivian Reid, chose instead to deliver gifts to 40 parents of the students at the centre on Father's Day.

The function, held at the Lucea Learning Centre, in Hanover, was dubbed 'Packaged with Love — from Vivian Reid'.

During his presentation, Reid shared with the gathering about what motivated him to start his journey of giving back.

“I don't know if you ever experience over 20 students playing a football game and all of them are mute. Well, I saw something like that at the [Brown's Town Learning Centre]. When I saw it, I started to laugh, but after laughing, I started crying. On that day, I promised myself that I had to find some ways or means to help them,” Reid shared.

For almost six years, Reid has been serving the Rural Services for Children with Disabilities (RSCD), and the Lucea Learning Centre, by assisting with various projects. Each year, he conducts his own personal events, which includes, but is not limited to, him treating students to bun and cheese during Easter and hosting a Christmas treat in December for the students, before they go off on holidays.

Reid told the Jamaica Observer West that “charity is a daily habit” for him, adding that the Lucea Learning Centre and RSCD are not the only institutions that benefit from his philanthropy.

“Sometimes when I stop at the soup man in Hopewell, persons with disabilities or unsound mind will find me. Wherever I stop they reach me; food, soup whatever it may be. I don't give cash to them, I take them to the store and buy them whatever they want,” he told the Observer West.

Reid started his pest control business, Star Pest Control, approximately 25 years ago. He explained that God has dealt him a good hand and giving back is his way of saying thanks.

“Whatever you achieve in life, it is best to give back. No matter how small it is, it is best to give back,” he shared.

Parents in attendance at Sunday's function expressed their appreciation for Reid's benevolence and shared how the institution has assisted in the development of their children.

Rose-Ann James, president of the Parent-Teacher's Association, stated that her child, Cody Tulsie, has benefited immensely from the school, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has bridged a great gap between teachers and parents.

“I have [had] to keep encouraging the parents to just work along with the teachers, as you know we became teachers ourselves. We are all in this together and we just come together and unite and we have found ways of working around this problem that we are having right now,” she stated.

“But one of the things I found out is that some of the parents didn't know how great their children were doing here [Lucea Learning Centre], it is during this crisis [pandemic] that they found out that they were doing a good job at school.”

Garcia Stewart, another parent, expressed similar sentiments.

“My daughter, Latanya Myrie, has been attending Lucea Learning Centre for about six years. This school has a great impact on her, and it was corona how I found this out. I had to call Miss [Nichola] East [coordinator at the school] and say thank you guys for doing such a great job. I really appreciate them.”

The Lucea Learning Centre along with the Brown's Town Learning Centre are units of the Llandilo School of Special Education (LSSE), whose main campus is located in Llandilo, Westmoreland. The LSSE falls under the management of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID), and is the third-largest of five trust schools of JAID, providing educational services to persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in western Jamaica. Over the years, the LSSE has been supported by various sponsors, who have helped to create a breakfast programme that benefits students at Westmoreland and Hanover campuses.

Principal of the LSSE Greogery Hewitt and Nichola East, the unit coordinator, are hopeful that more sponsors like Reid will come on board to assist the institutions in providing more assistance to the students.

“Sponsorships like these are positive publicity for our institutions. Individuals will get to know about our schools, our programmes and the invaluable services that we are providing in this great nation, as we continue to partner with Mr Reid and all other sponsors,” said Hewitt.

East, who described Reid as “our super hero”, stressed that “he is always doing things for us”, adding that “donations like these can benefit the school in many ways”.