Fri | Dec 2, 2016

NEET reopens St Paul's resource centre

Published:Saturday | February 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

WESTERN BUREAU:The newly refurbished resource centre at the St Paul's Primary School, Westmoreland, was officially reopened during a ceremony at the institution recently.

According to Chairman of Negril Education Environment Trust (NEET) Winston Wellington, whose organisation raised funds for the refurbishing works at the facility, approximately $600,000 was spent to upgrade and equip the centre.

"It had really run down over the years, so we have given it a total facelift in terms of tiles, painting, the provision of computers. Books are becoming obsolete so we don't give away as many books as in the past. Over the years, we have given away more than four million books," he explained.

Wellington said NEET is also in the process of implementing a Tablets in Schools pilot project at St Paul's with its grade six cohort, but that at the end of the academic year, the tablets will be presented to the 36 sixth graders as gifts.

pilot programme

"We have continuation of that situation (education support programme) with the advent of tablets, so we have started to equip our schools with tablets. This is part of a pilot programme in which students of the graduating class of 2015 at St Paul's will all be getting a tablet to take home at the end of this academic year. We don't want to just give the tablets to the children for them to take home just like that. The tablets will remain at the school for now, where they will learn to use them," he said.

The NEET has been undertaking education programmes in schools for several years. Funds are raised through its annual Buy A Brick Campaign and Culture Day, which is staged yearly at the Travellers Beach Resort, which is owned and operated by Wellington. One of the main objectives of the fundraisers is to garner funds to construct libraries in schools and communities across the island.

Eighteen libraries have been constructed by NEET so far, including a state-of-the-art community library in Grange Hill, and other facilities at Little London, Friendship, Sir Clifford Campbell primary schools, and at Balaclava Primary School in St Elizabeth. The Revival and Bethel Town all-age schools and the Thornton Primary School have also been beneficiaries. The Williamsfield Library in Westmoreland is slated to be the next beneficiary.

The NEET is the charitable arm of the Travellers Beach Resort in Negril, and has as its mantra: "A book in every hand and a computer in every classroom". The organisation was founded in 2003 to aid in providing educational support and resources through the islandwide book and computer distribution, computer training and medical missions.

Since its inception, NEET has donated several millions of books to children and adults within Jamaica as well as thousands of computers. The organisation also offers free computer literacy classes throughout the year.