The shared belief that education is the greatest tool for youth empowerment has led to a deepened partnership between the Desnoes & Geddes (D&G) Foundation and the Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Centre (ECC).
As part of its commitment to assisting the institution on its journey to accreditation, the D&G Foundation recently donated a cheque valued at $150,000 and a commercial-grade stove to the school, which will facilitate on-site meal preparation for students.
With heartfelt gratitude and satisfaction, Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Centre Principal Junior Rowe noted that the cash donation would help advance ongoing repairs and infrastructural improvements.
"Last year, we faced numerous limitations to accreditation, and we were much farther from achieving our certification before the D&G Foundation stepped in. With the Foundation's help, we moved much closer to the finish line, and here they are again. We plan to take advantage of this gift in a few ways. To be fully certified, we must purchase sanitisation products, complete repairs, and paint our playground equipment. We also hope to support our feeding programme with some of this donation and, of course, the stove."
After learning of the school's accreditation challenges in 2022, the D&G Foundation began providing much-needed support to aid in the process. Last September, the Foundation donated a refrigerator, baby changing stations, fans and sanitation items. Much-needed repairs to the institution's nursery were also completed.
"When we visited the institution last year, we saw that the staff had already accomplished so much, and we truly admired their efforts. Although we made some contributions then, they had still not achieved full accreditation, so we knew there was more work to be done. With this monetary donation and the commercial stove, we are hoping to hear soon that the school has been fully certified and Mr Rowe, his committed staff, and bright students can continue to teach, learn and grow in a space that is officially recognised for meeting the standard of quality", said D&G Foundation Accountant Dennis Beckford.
Despite the continued challenges, the staff and students have proven their resilience and determination to succeed. Along with infrastructural setbacks, Riverton Meadows experienced substantial learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has improved through weekly interventions and 'one-on-one' assessments. Of the more than 50 students who participated in the most recent four-year-old assessment, over 90 per cent were deemed above average.
"I am more than elated about the progress that we are making, and I cannot even begin to express my profound appreciation for the Foundation's support," Rowe stated. "They continue to show us so much generosity, especially as we prepare for our certification completion.
"Given what we've achieved so far and what this new donation will allow us to achieve, I'd say we are only one per cent shy of being fully accredited. The Early Childhood Commission and the officers have even declared that they anticipate approving our accreditation by the end of March, based on their assessment. So, on behalf of the parents, teachers and students, thank you, D&G Foundation for helping us get to the finish line," Rowe added.
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