JPS donates new playground to York Town Basic School children
Over fifty children at the York Town Basic School in Clarendon are now benefitting from a brand new playground as part of the JPS Foundation's effort to help the school attain the minimum standards set by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC). The playground, which was officially opened on December 10, boasts a spacious recreational area with climbing structures and other play equipment.
The development marks another significant milestone for the 40-year-old institution. In 2013, the JPS Foundation selected it to be one of three basic schools, participating in the JPS Foundation Model School Programme. The play area was created by sculptural design engineer Scheed Cole.
Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, JPS president and CEO Kelly Tomblin noted that in addition to enabling the school to attain the national standards required by the ECC, the new playground was part of the commitment on the part of JPS to foster a clean and green environment. This, as the fixtures are made from recycled material, which have been reworked to appear as natural logs and child friendly equipment.
"This is clean and green. Let's be passionate about protecting our land Jamaica ... . We have a sacred honour to take care of our children and our environment," Tomblin charged. Sharing on the vision of empowerment for all Jamaicans, she continued, "Children in Jamaica deserve what everybody else in the world has. We don't play small anymore."
HIGH PRAISES FOR JPS
Region central director at JPS, Roger Kennedy, who also spoke to the gathering of community stakeholders, had high praises for the JPS volunteers who gave several man hours to work on this and other JPS Model School projects.
"I have to say a big thank you to our VOLTS (Volunteers On Location To Serve). They have made all the difference," he remarked, outlining the multiple ways in which the volunteers have helped to improve the standing of the school.
Some other developmental milestones that the JPS Foundation has facilitated for York Town Basic School since 2013 are: the introduction of electricity (to the community as well); supplying the school with kitchen equipment, teachers' desks and chairs; as well as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. The JPS Foundation is also assisting one teacher to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree at the Catholic College in Mandeville.
The JPS Foundation has invested approximately $7 million in the development of the York Town Basic School and the surrounding community.