Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Snow Hill residents thrilled about new basic school

Published:Saturday | January 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM
The community involvement is great as young men from the community have volunteered their services in assisting the work crew.
From left: Team leaders Jackie Stewart Lechler (Kind Hearts Foundation), Marcia Hall Walker (Food For The Poor), and Christina Lechler (Kind Hearts Foundation).
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Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer

SNOW HILL, Portland:

Bothered by a leaking roof during rainfall, compounded by rotted furniture and a broken down structure, community residents of Snow Hill in Portland are elated as they will be getting a brand new basic school, which is now under construction.

The new school, which is being constructed as part of a joint initiative between Food For The Poor and Kind Hearts Foundation, is to accommodate approximately 50 students in Snow Hill and other adjoining communities.

"Kind Hearts is operated by Richard and Ann Stewart Foundation," commented Christina Lechler, a grandchild.

She added, "Six grandchildren form a part of this foundation, which is geared at raising funds to construct basic schools islandwide. This is the third basic school that will be built by us, following on the heels of those already done in Mandeville and Saint Catherine. Portland is close to our hearts, and this is an amazing feeling, as we are not just helping only one family, but an entire community will benefit."

The old school, New Wine Basic, is in a deplorable state. So much so that when it rains the children are unable to go to school as the building is flooded.

But while the hope of many was fading in the Snow Hill community, Jackie Stewart Lechler of Stewarts Automotive Group explained that upon hearing about the plights of the children, Kind Hearts took the decision to assist, with immediate effect.

"We made a commitment," said Stewart Lechler.

She continued, "And that was to build five basic schools in five years in honour of Jamaicas 50th independence celebration. Thanks to Food For The Poor, we are here building this new structure for the children and the community. Our youth builders are active in this process and we are spending US$60,000 to do the construction."

POPULATION TO DOUBLE

Upon completion, the schools population will double from 22, as the construction will comprise three classrooms, a principals office, a sick bay, a kitchen, and bathrooms.

And, social outreach manager at Food For The Poor, Marcia Hall Walker, said they are proud to be involved in another aspect of nation building, which will impact the lives of dozens of children and an entire community.

"It's a warm gesture by Kind Hearts and Food For The Poor," she commented.

She added. "It's all about changing the lives of children, and in doing so changing the lives of a community. The community involvement is great as young men from the community have volunteered their services in assisting the work crew."

rural@gleanerjm.com