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Jamaica Broilers staff don school uniforms for a cause

Published:Thursday | September 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Dr Claudette Cooke, vice-president of human resource development and public relations at the Jamaica Broilers Group, acting as principal for the day, is surrounded by her public relations team, dressed as students for the company’s back-to-school staff initiative on September 2.
From left: Loren Lee, Karla Davis, Danah Cameron and Bianca Atkinson, all members of the Public Relations Department at the Jamaica Broilers Group, representing their respective high schools in uniform.
Members of the Jamaica Broilers Group Information Systems Department, dressed as students and teaching staff at the company’s back-to-school initiative, smile with their donations of school supplies for students in Trench Town.

Employees of Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) arrived for work on September 2 dressed in school uniforms, complete with ties, knapsacks, hair ornaments and shoes and socks - ready for a day of fun and gift-giving. And they had permission to do so.

The sight of colleagues arriving in uniforms brought laughter and comments throughout the morning.

With more than 30 schools represented, employees had goody bags filled with gifts of notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, sharpeners and pencil cases for students in Trench Town. These were subsequently given to Major Richard Cooke, president of the Joy Town Community Development Foundation, which has successfully implemented outreach programmes in the community for the past 15 years.

Meanwhile, at the group's head office, some 'students' were reported to the 'principal' for the day, Dr Claudette Cooke, vice-president for human resources and public relations, who issued stern warnings, followed by hearty laughter. As a 'school prank', one employee who turned up late for 'school' was stopped at the gate, where she was not allowed to enter the premises before signing a 'late slip'.

'Vice-principal' Michelle Dempster-Taylor, telesales supervisor for Best Dressed Chicken, used a ruler to measure the distance between the uniform hemlines and knees to ensure the day's regulations were adhered to.

"The day was exactly what we had hoped for - that of building staff morale, while extending love to those in need," said Cooke.

Stories abounded of several members of staff desperately trying to avoid being stopped for traffic violations dressed in school uniforms on their way to work. One JBG officer said when she tried to pay for gas using a credit card while dressed as a student, she got suspicious stares from the pump attendants and was asked to verify her identity in order to complete payment.

"We appreciate the spirit in which our team members showed their love for those in need and for giving generously to the staff back-to-school initiative," said Cooke.