Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Rotarians invest in Central Branch All-Age School

Published:Monday | August 15, 2016 | 8:00 AM
Keith Parkes, president, Rotary Club of Trafalgar New Heights 2016-2017.

The Rotary Club of Trafalgar New Heights is to establish a new library for the Central Branch All-Age School in Kingston.

Newly installed president, Keith Parkes, says the new library will serve as a safe place for children from the surrounding South St Andrew inner-city communities to study, complete homework and projects.

"Children are the future is a statement we are passionate about," Parkes stated. "And this is seen in the projects we are known for, such as our annual back-to-school health fair; the annual Christmas Kiddies' Treat in Maverley; collection and donation of dictionaries to the Trench Town Homework Centre; donation of computer equipment to various schools; career planning seminars; and more. This year, our major project reflects this same passion."

The library, which was also designed with the assistance of the club, is set to be completed during the course of the Rotary year, which goes up to June 2017. It will be constructed in partnership with Food For The Poor.

"This is a culmination of the hard work of our club members, most notably past president, Marcus Irons, and immediate past president, Hugo Matthews, and their respective administrations," Parkes said, giving credit to architects, Irons and Matthews.

Central Branch principal Michael Sutherland says the new library will serve close to 600 students.

"There is a need for a library at this time as, currently, we don't have space, and we have a serious problem with literacy and we want to encourage students to read more," said Sutherland.

Just slightly above 75 per cent of students at Central Branch achieved mastery in the 2016 Grade Four Literacy Test.

"We want to have this space, where it is quiet, that encourages reading and an area where they will have a wide array of books to choose from rather than just their classroom library."

The eight-year-old Rotary Club of Trafalgar New Heights has maintained a relationship with Central Branch over the years, conducting consecutive Labour Day spruce-up projects at the school plant in 2015 and again in 2016. It also donated Oxford Primary Dictionaries.