Orantes Moore, Gleaner Writer
FREE HILL, St Mary:
FREE HILL Primary and Infant School in St Mary received a special gift from the Issa Trust Foundation (ITF) on Wednesday.
The foundation, which has been running several child-focused initiatives over the last two weeks, distributed more than 1,000 books to the school's library.
The books were collected by Lilliane Bastien, a teacher based in Canada, who encouraged her students and their parents to donate more than 100 boxes of books, toys and medical supplies for less fortunate children in Jamaica.
Martin Murphy, principal at Free Hill Primary and Infant School, told The Gleaner that the donation was greatly appreciated and promised that his pupils would put them to good use.
He said: "We have a library which is very sparsely furnished, so these books come at a very good time. We have 397 children ranging from four to 12 years old and our literacy rate is 61 per cent, so we need the children to be more exposed to reading, and that's why today's donation is excellent.
"A number of these students are from homes where they are not exposed to a lot of reading material, and so if we can provide this it will be an avenue for them to broaden their horizons.
"Some of these books will assist with our curriculum, so we are expecting a widening of the students' knowledge base, and of course, we are hoping this will be seen in their performances in their regular school life."
ITF president and CEO Diane Pollard echoed Murphy's comments. "Part of our mission statement is to help kids in education; we want them to strive and do their best in school."