Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Seven schools in western Jamaica benefited from the coffers of the First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union, in Montego Bay, on Monday when the financial institution awarded a bursary of $50,000 each to the school as part its Jamaica 50 celebrations.
According to Everes Coke, the business development officer at the Montego Bay-based credit union, education continues to be an important aspect of the credit union's philanthropic efforts and said the bursary awards was the best way to celebrate Jamaica's 50th year of Independence.
"We believe in investing in education and our total contribution of $350,000 to these schools across western Jamaica is indicative of our commitment to educating our young ones" Coke said, while addressing recipients at the presentation ceremony.
Coke further noted that special care was taken in awarding bursaries to early childhood institutions as the credit union celebrates Jamaica 50.
"Early-childhood education is crucial to our overall educational development but sometimes they do not get the necessary funding that is required to operate the schools," stated Coke. "Contributing to our future is a part of the principle of First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union as our children will form the next generation of leaders."
For June Clarke, the principal of the Cold Spring Basic School, the $50,000 bursary will greatly assist in ensuring the school environment is safe and comfortable for the children who attend.
"We are a small early-childhood institution that is need of several things to outfit the school and make it more comfortable," said Clarke. "The funds received today will go towards purchasing a refrigerator to store meats as we are currently without one."
According to Clarke, the school is facing significant cost in constantly buying items in small quality as a result of their inability to buy in bulk because of the absence of storage capacity.
"It is costing the school a lot of money to constantly buy items because we had no way of storing bulk purchases," said Clarke. "We are very grateful for this donation as it will go far in assisting with other expenses for the school."
The other recipients were Mount Carey Basic School, Montego Bay Infant School, Roehampton Basic School, Coote Savannah Early Childhood and Green Pond Primary School.