Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer
With the start of the new school year to begin today, telecommunications giant LIME staged its third annual back-to-school event dubbed 'Skool Aid' at the Jam World showground in Portmore, St Catherine, this past Saturday.
During the day, several students, accompanied by their parents and guardians, were able to benefit from free health and dental checks, immunisations and haircuts for boys. Parents and guardians were also able to purchase school supplies in the form of exercise books, pencils, pens and other education materials from book stores which had established booths and to generally get in any last-minute shopping ahead of the new school year.
LIME also allowed students to benefit from $10,000 scholarships selected through a random process and offered discounts and specials on phones, laptops and Internet packages. A celebrity reading zone gave students a chance to be read to by persons such as Portmore Mayor George Lee. Amusement rides were also established.
Regional head of corporate communications, Kalando Wilmoth, noted of the staging of such an event: "It is the largest of its kind, in excess of 30,000 people, and it is our way of staying connected to the community."
Wilmoth added: "We are happy to play our part in easing the back-to-school burden. We understand this burden and we want our customers to be able to manage better."
LIME Managing Director Garry Sinclair echoed Wilmoth's sentiment.
"We want to take back Jamaica one community at a time and one community that has helped us to achieve this is Portmore," Sinclair said. "Before the students went off to school, we wanted to give them one last day where they could benefit from free dental and health checks and school bags."
He continued: "We want to resonate with the community, this is an investment and it is our way of giving back."
The day wound to a close with various artistes such as Aidonia, Zamunda, Chuck Fenda, Roy Rayon, QQ and Omari, among others, gracing the stage.