Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Book4Kids treats Portland

Published:Sunday | September 25, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Daryl Vaz hugs a student of the Hope Bay Disciples of Christ Early Childhood Institution while Books4Kids Jamaica chairperson Ragni Trotta (left) shares in the moment.
These young ones from the Little Folks Caring and Early Learning Centre in Buff Bay, Portland display the book bags they received from Books4Kids Jamaica last week.
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More than 500 children in four early-childhood institutions in Portland are to receive book bags containing BrainQuest Workbooks, reading books, crayons and pencils from Books4Kids Jamaica this year.

The presentation started last week when Member of Parliament for West Portland Daryl Vaz, who is minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Office of the Prime Minister, joined in handing out bags with books to 45 three-, four- and five-year-old preschool children at Hope Bay Disciples of Christ Early Childhood Institution (ECI).

Vaz spent time with the children at the small school, to the delight of teachers and parents who were capturing the moment on their cell phones.

Almost 300 children at three Portland schools received workbooks, reading books, crayons and pencils.

While Port Antonio Infant School has been part of the programme for seven years, Vaz introduced Hope Bay Disciples of Christ Early Childhood Institution and Little Folks Caring and Early Learning Centre in Buff Bay to the initiative in 2015.

Boundbrook Infant School in Port Antonio was added to this year's distribution list.

Vaz commended the programme and noted that the children really enjoyed the visit and the books.

"The children remember the Books4Kids Jamaica team from last year, which is really important," said Vaz.

He thanked the Books4Kids Jamaica initiative, Palmyra Foundation Chairperson Ragni Trotta and her team for their contribution to the children, valued at US$15,000.

Vaz also said that he was very heartened by the construction of a new school for the Hope Bay Early Childhood Institution in partnership with Food For The Poor.

"It is the last year this school will be in this particular site. We have found a location, and I am in the final stages of partnering with Food For The Poor to build a new school. Public-private partnership is key for getting Jamaica back on track to fulfil its potential," added Vaz.

Angel Lewis-Henry, principal of Hope Bay Disciples of Christ ECI, replied on behalf of the teachers and staff.

"I would like to thank Minister Vaz for taking the time out of his busy schedule to spend time with the children. Let me also thank Books4Kids Jamaica for the books and supplies. These tokens will be of use to the children in their learning ability. We hope you will continue to do this for us at our new location and also for the many other schools that you support."

Under the slogan 'The future is bright when you can read and write', the programme provides four- and five-year-old kindergarten children with a book bag containing a 300-page BrainQuest Workbook, a reading book, crayons and a pencil.

Three-year-old kindergarten students receive a small ABC book, crayons and a pencil.

This year, the initiative will provide 11,000 children at more than 120 infant schools, basic schools and early childhood institutions schools across the island with books and school materials during the five-week-long distribution process.