MONTEGO BAY, St James — The 380 students at St Mary's Preparatory School in Montpelier, St James now have a much-improved library with last week's presentation of books by long-time benefactor, businessman Antony Hart.
Hart accompanied by his son, Mark, Executive Chairman of Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited, donated hundreds of story books to the institution, operated by the Anglican Church since 1987.
The books sourced from the US were graciously accepted by the school's principal, Anthony Taylor, volunteer Librarian, Josephine Meany and students.
The benefactor said he was led to take this latest initiative as he is committed to the vision of the leadership in working to position St Mary's as Jamaica's top preparatory school.
"Ultimately the reading materials will also help the students who are predominantly boys to excel," said the senior Hart.
The school's head girl, Tayna-Lee Ramsay said the books will go a far way in helping to increase their vocabulary.
"These are all books that we love to read," she said.
Ramsay's sentiment was shared by fellow students, Danree Davis, Leona Heron and Zinedine Hylton who list as their favourites 'The Boxcar Children Series' and 'The Little Brownie House and Other Stories' by Enid Blyton.
Meanwhile, Taylor expressed gratitude on behalf of the institution to Hart, who he referred to as a primary benefactor, playing an integral role in the development of the St Mary's Preparatory School.
The principal revealed that the elder Hart has also funded the development of the Sports Programme at the school, including the construction of an acrylic-finished multi-purpose court, along with three football fields and underwriting the salary of a trained coach. The senior Hart has also committed to re-roofing the administrative building and a block of classrooms.
St Mary's Preparatory School which has been under the leadership of Taylor since 2008 has been producing excellent results in the Grade Six Achievement Tests (GSAT).
Infact, the majority of students who sat the exams in recent years have scored averages of more than 90 per cent.