NEGRIL, Westmoreland — An English couple vacationing in the resort town of Negril has come to the assistance of three Westmoreland schools.
On Monday, Phillip Bond and Diana James, who were making their first trip to Jamaica, donated 3,000 pounds, to be shared equally between the Grange Hill High, Little Bay Infant and All Age, and Negril All Age School.
The tourists have been staying at the Charela Inn in Negril, operated by their long-standing friends, Daniel and Sylvie Grizzle, since their arrival late last month.
Following the presentation, the gracious and elated representatives from the schools informed the Observer West that the money will come in handy to complete their respective projects.
Errol Stewart, the principal of Grange Hill High where 843 students are enrolled, explained that the English couple's gift will go towards the development of the school's home economics department.
"This contribution will go into our Home Economics Department. We will be getting some stoves, possibly we will be getting some (sewing) machines because we are now doing clothing, which is taking off in a very strong way," he said, adding that the school is "bursting at the seams in terms of amenities and facilities."
Principal of the Little Bay Infant and All Age School, Heila Clayton, for her part, said the money she collected for her school will be used in the establishment of a reading centre for the school's 150 students.
" We are going to be using it on the reading centre. We have challenges with our reading. Currently, we are at 45 per cent at the Grade Four level and the objective is to increase and bring it up to the 80, 90 average," said an elated Clayton.
Meanwhile, Charles McKenzie, Principal, Negril All Age School revealed that he will be using the contribution to install electricity in a section of the facility that has been without power.
Prior to Monday's donation, the two English tourists had visited the schools and later expressed their intention to make donations towards them.
"Daniel and Sylvie are old friends of ours and they expressed their desire for us to see some schools and when we saw the spirit of the teachers we just thought that we would help and because I am in the position to give a little something, we did," said Bond, who is a professional musician and a former music teacher.
"Education is the key to everything, so I am just delighted to help."
James echoed her partners sentiments: "We really wanted to give something to Jamaica where we have come to enjoy the beautiful resort, the beautiful place. The schools need help and the teachers are dedicated and lovely. To be able to contribute to the teachers, to the schools and the children that's most important".