Digicel STAR School ‘Buss’ spells relief for parents
Thousands of parents were given well-needed assistance with back-to-school expenses as the Digicel STAR 'School Buss' rolled into the St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston last Saturday.
More than 8,000 persons turned out for the back-to-school fair that offered free products and services such as health checks, haircuts, teeth cleaning, school bags, water bottles, notebooks, stationery, and more.
"I'm so glad for this fair because today I came to buy my son's books and him did really need a bag, and he got one just like that. Plus, his sister got her teeth cleaned and that was never in the plan for my pocket, trust me," shared an elated Paulette Jones, the mother of two.
Paulette's child was just one of the 150 children who got free dental care, courtesy of Portmore Dental Services. In the meantime, 88 boys received free haircuts from barbers attached to the HEART College of Beauty Services, and numerous children received medical checks from doctors of VIVO Medical Services.
Additionally, 25 parents received an even bigger relief through the Digicel STAR School 'Buss' Scholarships, with 20 students receiving scholarships valued at $20,000 each, while Pepsi fronted the cost for the additional five scholarships valued at $10,000 each.
Michelle Whyte, parent of Jayvian Grizzle, who will be entering grade four at the Pembroke Hall Primary School come September, was one of the happy recipients.
"I heard about the scholarship in THE STAR and on TV, that's why I came down here. Actually, I was at the Sangster's tent about to buy two of the books on his list and I said to myself, 'No, let me wait and see if I will win anything.' But I was not expecting to win so big! I can tell you that it is a big help, as I have three children to send to school come September," shared Whyte.
Seeking to provide the complete package, the fair also had an amusement village filled with rides and a food court, which provided free meals to the children.
At the stage area, hosts Badda Bling, Terri-Karelle Reid of The Gleaner, and Digicel brand ambassador Miss Kitty kept the crowd rocking, laughing and dancing.
Through on-stage activities such as a School's Challenge Quiz and a Spelling Bee several students walked away with brand new tablets, and vouchers from Sangster's and Kingston Bookshop.
Entertainment was also provided by dancehall artistes Chi Ching Ching, Tifa and Ding Dong.
The day's activities ended at the Redemption Centre where more than 5,000 packages, including school bags, books, water bottles, and stationery were given to the children present.
"Look here, the fair did nice. You had people selling food and stuff, but most of the things were free and I love that because a lot of time they say the back-to-school fairs are free and then you have to pay for this and that. And you see the package that my baby girl got, it nice; book, pencil, paint and more. I got a lot of savings today," said Janet McLean, as she left the venue.
The Digicel STAR School 'Buss' was sponsored by VIVO Medical Services, Portmore Dental Services, HEART College of Beauty Services, Ministry of Education, Pepsi, Wild Rides, Power 106 FM, CB Chicken, Capri-Sun, KFC, Tastee, Jamaica Producers, Honey Bun, Fruit Jazz Punches, Ena Wong Sam Confectionery and Snacks, Nestle, KSAC, Bess FM, JN, JUTC, Sangster's Book Stores, Reggae Jammin, Cal's, JUTC, Jamaica Library Services, Rainforest Seafoods, Island Ice and Operation Help the People.