51 schools get supplies from United Way, Scotiabank

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Fifty one rural-area early childhood institutions are to benefit from the donation of equipment and supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as schools prepare to reopen next year.

The items, which were handed over during a ceremony at the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) in Kingston yesterday, include disposable gloves, dust masks, storage bins, garbage bins, handwashing stations, thermometers, printers, copy papers and print cartridges.

They were donated by United Way of Jamaica in partnership with Scotiabank, which provided $6.6 million towards the undertaking. An average of four schools across 13 parishes will benefit from the initiative.

ECC Chairman Trisha Williams-Singh, who accepted the items, thanked the entities for assisting the institutions as some of them prepare to undergo health inspections in an effort to resume in-person classes.

“Public-private partnership is very, very important… . With your donation, these schools will be able to return to face-to-face, because the better equipped the schools are, they will be able to have [physical] contact time [with students],” she noted.

Principal of the Gwen Neil Basic School in St Catherine, Sandra Young, who was on hand to collect a package on behalf of her school, also expressed gratitude for the intervention.

“Donations such as these are always welcome, and I wish more focus will be on early childhood and the challenges that we do face and others will see it fit to come on board and help us. This is the foundation; this is where it starts, and without the foundation, we are nothing,” she said.