Partnership helps schools make the grade
Across the Caribbean and Latin America, Food For The Poor and our supporters work together to improve the quality and availability of education at every stage of a child’s development.
And what better example than the most recent renovation of the Spring Garden Infant Department and Brain Building Center in Jamaica. Food For The Poor partnered with this school to help it meet the standards set out by Jamaica’s Early Childhood Commission (ECC).
The Spring Garden Infant Department and Brain Building Center serves 232 students between ages 2 and 6. These little ones are taught and guided by 10 academic staff members and eight teacher’s helpers, including youth service workers.
Before receiving the generous assistance of Food For The Poor donors, the students and staff dealt with many challenges including:
- A leaking roof
- Worn-out electrical components
Staff, students and the community were filled with gratitude because of the infrastructural upgrades. The improvements will give students the chance to maximize their full potential.
Principal Grace Hughes Malcolm, who has been on the staff at Spring Garden for 25 years, was ecstatic about the renovations, which included:
- Roof repairs
- Painting of the building
- New windows
- New fencing
- New tile flooring
- New cabinets
- New wiring/electrical components
“If the surrounding is beautiful, it will lift the morale of the students, but if the surrounding is not pleasing, then when they come in, they will come out with that droopy look,” Principal Malcolm said. “But what I want is when my students walk onto the compound, they should feel a strong sense of belonging, and they should take pride in saying, ‘I am a member of Spring Garden Primary and Infant School.’”
Students like Tika Gayle, 6, who said she wanted to be a nurse when she grows up, were impressed with the upgrades. “It’s a beautiful school and I love being here with my friends and teachers,” she said. “I enjoy being in my beautiful classroom. I am happy for the school building.”
The renovation has made a significant difference for students like Tika. Because of overcrowding, infants and older children were all being taught in the same space. Now, each group has its own classroom spaces with bathrooms nearby.
Watch as students say a prayer before lunch.
Attaining the certification for basic school/infant department operational standards of the Early Childhood Commission was not easy. The standards cover a wide range of areas, including:
- Physical environment
- Indoor/outdoor equipment
- Furnishings and supplies
- Health and nutrition
Adhering to these regulations ensures that all early childhood institutions in Jamaica provide the services that children need for successful growth and development.
Thanks to the generosity of Food For The Poor’s donors, the Spring Garden Infant Department and Brain Building Center is now close to receiving its full ECC certification following the recent infrastructural upgrades.
“For years, we have been trying to get certified under the ECC, but we couldn’t,” Principal Malcolm said. “While we excelled in the other areas, we didn’t have proper infrastructure. We had written several proposals to different companies, but none was successful until Food For The Poor came on board to renovate.”
You can support change!
You can provide access to quality education for children in need in the Caribbean and Latin America. The Spring Garden school renovation is an example of how Food For The Poor makes it easy to get involved and transform lives.
Visit Food For The Poor online to discover how you can give a gift and start improving the lives of children.