On Friday, May 19 – National Children's Day – the Old Pera Infant and Primary School in St Thomas was abuzz with activities.
The school, which is located in deep rural St Thomas, was selected by the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) for its special National Children Day's project.
With support from JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, through sponsorship, ground was broken at the school for the construction of a play area valued at approximately $400,000.
Principal of the school, Lorraine Williams, in expressing heartfelt gratitude, said the entire school and the community are overjoyed that the students will soon have a proper play area.
CEO of JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation Kim Mair, speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, said the foundation is happy to lead by example by contributing to such a worthy project.
We are taking the first step with Old Pera Infant and Primary to create a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for play. We must help our children strive through play to reach their full potential. So, as we join hands together, my wish is that every child in and around the school community will have the opportunity to enjoy this space," Mair said. During the ceremony, representatives from the Forestry Department were on hand to plant several ornamental and fruit trees on the grounds of the school.
Meanwhile, master chief petty officer of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Andrea Kirby was scheduled to lead a team of officers from the JDF on a de-bushing exercise on Labour Day. The area where the school's cottage is located was to have been cleared in preparation for the repurposing of the cottage into a multipurpose building.
Also attending the event was Member of Parliament for St Thomas Eastern Dr Michelle Charles, who gave her commitment to sponsor the school's 2023 summer camp.
Chair of the NCMC Dr Pauline Mullings said that as the committee continues to ensure that Jamaica's children are loved and protected, she is encouraging every Jamaican to get involved to create safe spaces for them.
The Old Pera Infant and Primary School, founded in 1965 by the Methodist Churches in Jamaica, has a population of 54 students and seven academic staff members.
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