Wed | Apr 14, 2021

Oracabessa Foundation helps six basic schools prepare for reopening

Published:Monday | December 28, 2020 | 12:06 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Jennifer Ross (centre), principal, Grace Childcare and Learning Centre, collects her supplies from Travis Graham, executive director, Oracabessa Foundation, while Inilek Wilmot, environmental programmes manager, Oracabessa Foundation, looks on.
Jennifer Ross (centre), principal, Grace Childcare and Learning Centre, collects her supplies from Travis Graham, executive director, Oracabessa Foundation, while Inilek Wilmot, environmental programmes manager, Oracabessa Foundation, looks on.

The Oracabessa Foundation, assisted by Chris Blackwell, has come to the assistance of six basic schools in Oracabessa, St Mary, in their efforts to meet the requirements by the Government to reopen in 2021.

The six basic schools are: Oracabessa Seventh-day Adventist, Covenant, Cross Roads, Race Course, Sunshine, and Grace Baptist Childcare and Learning Centre.

The foundation’s executive director, Travis Graham, outlined that the organisation funded the supply of equipment and items to help prepare the schools in their anti-COVID efforts, in addition to facilitating training for the principals.

“Through the assistance of the Golden Eye resort founder, Chris Blackwell and CO-CEO Marika Kessler, the necessary funds needed to purchase all the required items were raised and the decision was made to purchase the required PPE items, gears and hardware supplies needed to build out isolation rooms to the six basic schools,” Graham told The Gleaner.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Early Childhood Commission were on hand for the handing over and the training of principals that followed.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

The principals were trained in the effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE) items and in meeting the sanitation needs of their respective schools.

Graham said the decision to assist the schools was taken in light of the devastating effect of the COVID-19 disease, which led to the schools having to close their doors since March of this year, resulting in “serious loss of income”.

According to Graham, “As the government phases the reopening of schools in 2021, all basic schools have to meet the requirements set out by the Early Childhood Commission and the Ministry of Health in order to be certified for reopening come 2021.

“These requirements include installing sanitising stations, hand-wash sinks in classrooms, acquiring digital temperature readers, no-touch bins, installing single desks and chairs to ensure social distancing for students, and setting up isolation rooms with the requisite PPE overalls for suspected cases for students,” he added.

Additionally, Graham disclosed that Thalia Lyn, chairperson of the NCB Foundation, will be donating tablets to each of the school principals, along with some needy persons in the community. This is being done through NCB’s Grant a Wish – Gratitude Project.

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