St James enjoys taste of LIME 'Skool Aid'
Telecommunications firm LIME on August 2 staged the first of three regional back-to-school events in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC) at the Albion Community Centre in St James.
Despite intermittent rainy conditions, hundreds from surrounding areas turned out to get their share of the free medicals, grooming and school supplies that were made available.
Delona Fleming, public relations manager at the SDC, said the event was "the largest seen in this area".
"We are extremely pleased that LIME has come on board to support our students as they prepare to go back to school. Things are rough, and to alleviate even one expense for parents in a time like this is a big help," Fleming said.
"I am very grateful. September is coming, and nothing has been done as yet," said Mauline McKenzie, mother of four.
Her youngest son, Ricardo Smith, was selected to receive a $20,000 grant from the telecommunications firm.
"I never expected this when I came here. As I was filling out the scholarship form, I was praying that it would work out, and I am overjoyed." Mckenzie beamed.
Up to 2 p.m., the medical team had administered a little less than 400 medical checks.
Children ready for term
Dr André McDonald, lead physician for the LIME Skool Aid programme, said his findings were satisfactory, as far as indicating the children's readiness for school.
However, he noted that some deficiencies were found.
"We have observed some problems, particularly with vision in some of the patients we saw. Being able to see well is critical to the success of the students, and so some have been referred for corrective glasses," McDonald said. "Some of the parents were also not aware of some of the issues affecting their children, and so this has been a very good initiative."
Some 500 school bags were also distributed to the young patrons, while a barbering team provided free haircuts for boys.
At the launch of the 5th anniversary of the company's annual programmme, LIME's CEO, Garry Sinclair, announced the company decided to expand the reach of the assistance it provides each year to students in rural Jamaica.
Sinclair noted that since inception, the company has invested some $250 million and assisted some 300,000 Jamaicans.
Other parishes to benefit include Ginger Hill, St Elizabeth, yesterday; and York Town, Clarendon, on August 16.
LIME will also stage its annual massive back-to-school event at JamWorld in Portmore, St Catherine, on August 24.
CAPTION: Four-year-old Ricardo Smith was the recipient of a $20,000 back-to-school grant provided by telecommunications firm LIME at the first of three regional 'Skool Aid' fairs held in Albion, St James, on August 2. Sharing in the moment are Mauline McKenzie (second left), Ricardo's mother; Kim Lee, head of channel marketing, sponsorships and promotions at LIME; and Randy Hayle, Social Development Commission parish manager for St James. - Contributed