Developing young minds
strong parent component, active breakfast-feeding programmeSunday, June 19, 2016
BY RENAE DIXON Observer staff reporter
The 113 students presently attending the Bamboo Basic School are beneficiaries of an active breakfast programme every week for the five school days.
Principal Lorraine Jackson-Beckford indicated that the St Ann-based institution, located in the community of the same name, relies on fees from parents allied with fund-raising activities. The school, the principal said, is, however, managing to keep its breakfast programme going.
"We have a breakfast programme five days per week," Jackson-Beckford said.
Jackson-Beckford, who has been with the 66-year-old school for 26 years, said the programme is sponsored by the Early Childhood Commission and aided by the efforts of parents.
In fact, two parents, Veronica Bruce and Beverly Malcolm, the president of the school’s Parent Teachers Association, volunteer to cook breakfast in the mornings.
The school has also been the recipient of assistance from the Women for PACE (Project for Advancement of Childhood Education), an organisation which is based in Canada. Other groups such as the community’s Police Youth Club have also been contributing to the school. Community businessman Kevin White is an avid supporter of the school and assists in many ways, the principal told Jamaica Observer North East.
"We have been doing great. We have been doing well academically and we believe very strongly in delivering wholesome development at Bamboo Basic," the principal said.
The school caters to children in the three- to five-year-old age group with a wide range of activities for students, many of which have not yet been introduced in many schools at the early childhood level. Students participate in debates, spelling bee, career day and reading competitions.
"I can remember the last debate; they had the topic ‘Boys are more special than girls’. It was a very interesting debate and also very entertaining, as the young ones mooted their points sometimes generating much laughter.
"We saw young minds at work and the adults who were present were quite fascinated. The debate was good and you would be taken aback by some of the comments the little ones made," an obviously pleased Jackson–Beckford said.
As to the rest of the programmes at the school, Jackson-Beckford explained: "We have some very good programmes at Bamboo Basic, with each programme designed to promote growth. The school has a 4-H Club with meetings held on Fridays. Plus, there are many other extra-curricular activities. The academic standard of the school is high because of the quality of staff at the institution. There are three trained teachers at the institution, with one specialising in literacy. All teachers and the ancillary staff are qualified at the NCTVET level, and we have two early childhood educators."
Bamboo Basic School was started by Josephine Lawrence on her veranda in Hazelwood, Bamboo. The school moved to different locations before the Women’s Federation of Bamboo secured its present location on Rickman Drive in the community.