The faces of students and their teachers of the McIntosh Memorial Primary School in Settlement, Manchester, beamed with delight recently, as they were presented with musical instruments to aid their educational development.
The instruments were donated by financial conglomerate First Global Bank (FGB), a subsidiary of the GraceKennedy Group, through a joint initiative between FGB and the Ministry of Education. McIntosh Memorial Primary is one of six state-run schools in Kingston and St Andrew, Manchester and St James that have benefited from this gesture, costing over J$1,000,000.
Just after devotions on Thursday, a group of female students welcomed and ushered guests into the small room where the official handover took place. Outside, some budding musicians waited patiently with some of the newly donated instruments in their hands.
It was a warm and sunny morning, but the students all seemed oblivious to that, as they were eager to entertain their guests, to demonstrate that they had learnt a few keys since First Global had donated the instruments to the school a week prior to the handover.
Principal of the school, Sheron Anderson, said she was overwhelmed and very grateful to FGB for choosing her school as one of the recipients.
"We are blessed at McIntosh. God has stretched out His hands in the form of First Global Bank. You are our angels. We are very thankful for this equipment. There is a saying that 'if music be the food of love, then play on' ... and, at McIntosh, we are going to play," Anderson said.
Janice Brooks-Richards, manager of FGB Mandeville branch, said the GraceKennedy Group strongly believes in education. She said that studies had shown that children who were exposed to music from an early age developed better lite-racy and numeracy skills compared to children of the same age, who had no musical exposure.
"When we saw the opportunity to be a part of a programme like this, that would not only improve our children's literacy and numeracy skills, but do so using music, which is part of our culture, we could not pass it up," Brooks-Richards said.