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Helping his alma mater one step at a time

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2016 | 6:00 AMGareth Davis

Determined to one provide assistance to his alma mater, Rural Hill Primary School, Paul Thompson is ensuring that each step the students climb that leads to the upper classrooms is safe.

Only recently, the former student assisted with the construction of rails to the staircase at that institution. His gesture is seen by the school community as a step in the right direction. They say it could well be the launching pad for others, who at one time or the other graced the classrooms at the ageing school facility, which has stood the test of time in the eastern parish of Portland.

"I always wanted to give back to my school," commented Thompson. "This is where it started for me as a youngster, and I will forever be grateful to the teachers who assisted with my upbringing. When I was approached by the principal about the need for rails on the staircase, I immediately agreed, and today I am happy that the school population can benefit from the its use. As a matter of fact, this is just the beginning."

COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT

The rails were constructed at cost of $110,000.

In addition, Thompson also purchased a 650-gallon water storage tank, repainted the inner walls of the 92-year-old school, and is to repair a commercial stove that is used to prepare for the approximately 60 students.

Added Thompson, "Whatever assistance that I can provide to my alma mater will be done. I strongly believe in education, and the youth are the future. If they are allowed to learn and study in a friendly and comfortable environment, the results can be rewarding and impressive. I have started the process of rebuilding and improving the conditions at my former school, and I am calling on others to assist in like manner so as to enhance the lives of students."

Rural Hill Primary School is neatly perched on a hill overlooking the Caribbean Sea and lies approximately 20 miles east of Port Antonio near Long Bay, where farming is the main occupation for many.