Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Christmas comes early for Mount Zion Primary students

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist
Basil Smith and principal Jacqueline Brown, sort out the gifts for children of Mount Zion Primary and Infant School.

OCHO RIOS, St Ann:

Basil Smith's Hand-in-Hand Help Foundation brought joy to the students and teachers at Mount Zion Primary and Infant School in St Ann on Friday with a pre-Christmas treat.

Just about the entire student population turned out for an event that they seemed really excited about. They totally enjoyed the bounce-about, ice cream, snacks and gifts (school supplies, toys, etc) brought by Smith with the help of several sponsors, some of whom have been assisting the foundation for most of its 13 years of existence.

Students and parents alike were able to win spot prizes in competitions such as bun-eating.

Principal Jacqueline Brown, reflecting the views of the school community and also parents, told The Gleaner that the school was extremely grateful that Hand-in-Hand Help chose Mount Zion as the beneficiary of this year's pre-Christmas charity event.

"For this fun day and Christmas treat, sponsored by Hand-in-Hand Help, we have children, parents, past students, even students of other schools here," Brown pointed out. "It's very nice the children are enjoying themselves and so are the parents and teachers, too. We're all happy and I'm especially happy that Mr Smith chose us to give his support this time."

Smith said he chose Mount Zion after his requests to have the event at two schools in St Mary were turned down.

"A co-worker of mine suggested Mount Zion and so I came and spoke with the principal, Mrs Brown, and she said she would welcome it."

The event was a celebration not just for the school but the community, at no cost to the institution.

Students, teachers and several parents went home with gifts.

Smith said he gets basically nothing from doing the charity work, except seeing the children happy.

"The satisfaction I get is like when I'm here and I see the kids enjoying themselves. I'm just happy for that and it pushes me to do more," he explained.

"I would like to thank all the sponsors, several of them in Ocho Rios and in Kingston. I'd like to tell them thank you and I hope they continue. For the past 13 years, they have been helping me," Smith said.

rural@gleanerjm.com