Francine Buchner TORONTO: President of P.A.C.E (Canada), Mary Anne Chambers, called on persons to rally themselves to continue their support of what was truly a worthwhile cause in helping children acheive their dreams. Chambers who was speaking at this year’s Annual Adopt-A-School Brunch, inside the Jamaican Canadian Association, encouraged persons not to give in to “donor fatigue,” especially in current difficult times. P.A.C.E is Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education and donor fatigue is a phenomenon whereby individuals and international communities no longer give to charities, where they once readily did so. “Anyone can serve. You don’t need a degree to serve, said retired chief of York Regional Police, Armand P. La Barge O.O.M who was the keynote speaker for the fundraising event. La Barge and his wife Denise have been serving in Jamaica for the last seven years and sponsor Brooks Level Basic School in St. Andrews, Jamaica through P.A.C.E (Canada’s) Adopt-A-School program. Their annual donation of $365, that’s just one dollar a day, affords the schools over 120 student books, crayons, pencils, rulers and lunch. It also helps contribute towards the purchase of pots and pans to cook the food in, paint for their chipped walls, their graduation programme and slides and swings for their play area. La Barge shared his story of helping to rebuild homes in Jamaica during Hurricane Katrina. LaBarge described education as the great equalizer, saying education allows a person to reach their full potential, gives them perspective in life, opinions and access to information. He said education teaches us the right behaviours; it teaches us how to lead our lives. “Not many in your field recognize the importance of education in crime prevention,” said Denham Jolly to La Barge. Adopt-A-Basic School program provides assistance to Jamaican Basic Schools in response to needs identified by local community and educational committees. A yearly commitment of $365 gives generations of children the positive start they need and all funds are directly submitted to the school and charitable receipts provided to P.A.C.E sponsors. A donation of $20,000 was awarded to Chambers for P.A.C.E initiatives by Steve Richardson of Royal Bank of Canada. “Adopt-A-School sponsors help to breathe life into the schools they support and in doing so, help to give the children in their adopted schools hope for a brighter future. The schools play an extremely important role in helping to provide children with the foundation they need to achieve that potential,” said Chambers. P.A.C.E (Canada) recently presented HEART Trust, a National Trust Agency whose mission is to train and certify the Jamaican workforce to international standards with monetary proceeds that will help to train and certify 57 teachers within P.A.C.E’s adopted programme to the minimum levels of early childhood education. At present there are 2000 practioners in early childhood education that are not certified. As of April this year $47, 605 in Adopt-A-School Sponsorship funds were sent to participating schools in Jamaica. P.A.C.E. (Canada) is a federally chartered non-profit organization. Since its inception, it has expanded operations to include programs supporting Canadian children, as well as college students pursuing degrees in Early Childhood Education. P.A.C.E is continually raising awareness on child care and children rights in both Canada and Jamaica through community partnerships, educational and other support programs. Our focus is on needy or disadvantaged children, ensuring they have access to the educational materials, nutrition, technology and healthy environment, essential for them to compete in this global and digital economy.