Wed | Oct 21, 2020

Rotary Club of Montego Bay gives 100 schoolbags to needy students

Published:Saturday | September 26, 2020 | 12:10 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Alexis Richards (third from left), a student of Irwin High School in St James, poses with his newly received schoolbag alongside Deidre Shaw (left), president of the Rotaract Club of Montego Bay, and several members of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay. The R
Alexis Richards (third from left), a student of Irwin High School in St James, poses with his newly received schoolbag alongside Deidre Shaw (left), president of the Rotaract Club of Montego Bay, and several members of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay. The Rotary Club members are (from second left): Nana Boakye Agemang, president; Conrad Grant, past president; Dominica Pradere, past president and current director; Shaneil Lawson, director; Amber-Gail Grandison, secretary; and Valerie O’Bryan, director.
Shanae Campbell (left), a 14-year-old student of St James High School, accepts a schoolbag from Amber-Gail Grandison, secretary of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay, during the club’s presentation of 100 schoolbags and other school equipment to students in
Shanae Campbell (left), a 14-year-old student of St James High School, accepts a schoolbag from Amber-Gail Grandison, secretary of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay, during the club’s presentation of 100 schoolbags and other school equipment to students in St James, at the Salvation Army Western Jamaica Division headquarters in Westgreen on Thursday. Also pictured are (from second left): Valerie O’Bryan, director of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay; Conrad Grant, past president of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay; and Shanae’s mother, Switze Thompson.
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Western Bureau:

With local schools slated to reopen on October 5, the Rotary Club of Montego Bay has come good for over 100 students in St James by equipping them with back-to-school supplies, including school bags and books.

The students, who were among the neediest children chosen from five schools in the parish, received books, crayons, pencils, folders and other items, valued at $10,000, from members of the Rotary Club on the grounds of the Salvation Army Western Jamaica Division headquarters.

The selected schools were Corinaldi Primary School, Barracks Road Primary School, Montego Bay Infant School, Irwin High School, and St James High School.

Shanae Campbell, a 14-year-old student of St James High School, expressed brief but heartfelt appreciation moments after being presented with her school supplies.

“I am grateful for what I have today. I was happy when I heard I was going to get a bag, and I am looking forward to going back to school with my bag,” Campbell said.

Major Nana Boakye Agemang, president of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay and divisional commander of the Salvation Army Western Jamaica Division, said the event, which was the first back-to-school project for the club, is one of several activities that have been undertaken in support of education in the western parish.

Giving hope

“We have given 100 children hope and also the understanding that there are people who care, and that we are willing to support them as they seek to get their education onward. We are committed to education here in western Jamaica, especially in St James,” Agemang told The Gleaner.

“We do provide scholarships and support schools in providing water tanks, and meeting other needs that may arise from time to time,” Agemang added. “We have also initiated a project to provide tablets to students, to aid them in their online studies. We will continue to access funding to help as many persons as we can because our mantra is service.”

Amber-Gail Grandison, secretary of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay, said that in addition to the back-to-school exercise, the club is working with the Salvation Army to assist needy families with food packages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been doing our COVID relief project, where we come here and pack food items to give to the neediest persons. Some of those persons we know them from before, and for some, the names are provided by the Salvation Army,” said Grandison. “They come and collect tinned items, rice and flour, those kinds of items that are needed to help them to continue going on until they can get further assistance.”