Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Runaway Bay All-Age School gets new classrooms

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Principal of the Runaway Bay All-Age School, Lambert Pearson (second right), and 13-year-old Food For The Poor (FFP) donor Rafe Cochran (right) cut the ribbon to open one of two new classroom blocks constructed at the school. Director of Recipient Services at FFP Jamaica, Susan Moore (left), as well as students of the school, share the moment.

Students and staff at the Runaway Bay All-Age School in St Ann started the new school year last Monday in more spacious surroundings.

Food For The Poor, through a partnership with 13-year-old donor Rafe Cochran, constructed two new blocks at the school, comprising six classrooms, bathrooms and an office area.

The youngster, who hails from South Florida, contributed the proceeds from his annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic for the school-expansion project.

School principal Lambert Pearson, in expressing gratitude, said the new buildings

have provided improved accommodation for the institution's 400 students.

"This most certainly will improve our conditions for learning, and I'm sure that our performance will continue to grow," Pearson said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 31.

For her part, director of recipient services at Food For The Poor Jamaica, Susan Moore, noted that the modern facilities provided will not only improve the school's physical environment, but also enhance learning.

"At Food For The Poor, we are certainly aware of the interaction between the physical spaces and the learning environment," she outlined.

"The building alone cannot infuse the passion and vision that guide the school's development; it's the human spirit and interaction between the teachers and the students that will make the difference and ensure the new building supports a higher level of learning," she pointed out.

Moore thanked Cochran for partnering with Food For The Poor Jamaica on this "well-needed project".

He has been supporting the work of Food For The Poor in Jamaica through his annual golf classic, which he organised with the help of his parents, Jay and Diahann Cochran.

 

Felt the need to help

 

He said his philanthropic efforts stemmed from a visit his grade-three class made to the Food For The Poor headquarters in Florida a few years ago. Since then, he has been working with the charity to erect schools and homes.

Cochran added that said he selected Runaway Bay All-Age this year "because I truly felt the need to help. I felt if these students and teachers had a better building to provide the opportunity of education, it would motivate and help the students achieve their goals".

Teacher Nicolette Fisher expressed pleasure about the new additions to the school's infrastructure. "I think it's a great initiative, and we have more space; it's more comfortable, so I am really looking forward to working in the space," she said.

Fisher noted that with the new classrooms, which will accommodate students of grades four, five and six, she expects that the school will continue to excel.