Spectacular educational gift for Holland community from JWNF
Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence
Students and staff at Middlesex Infant School in the community of Holland Bamboo, St Elizabeth are the beneficiaries of an improved plant following a $35 million expansion and upgrading project that was funded by J Wray and Nephew Limited (JWN), operators of Appleton Estate in the parish.
Construction work on the early childhood facility which was presented to the community during an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, was financed from a $50 million education budget that was set aside by JWN for 2018.
“We at the JWN Foundation will continue working assiduously towards fulfillment of our mission, and deepen our investment in education. A significant portion of this was made right here in St Elizabeth through J$5 million in scholarships; a contribution of $1 million towards the construction of a new sixth form block at the Roger Clarke High School; a continuation of the behaviour change programme –Conversations for Greatness – managed by the Joan Duncan Foundation; and now this J$35 million investment in early childhood education,” JWN Chairman, Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, said during his address at the unveiling ceremony.
He further stated that as a result of the expansion project, the institution will now set to be certified by the Early Childhood Commission.
Chairman of the Early Childhood Commission, Tricia Williams-Singh, and JWN Managing Director, Jean-Felippe Beyer, were among the many persons who attended the function to officially declare the project open and duly handed over to the school administrators after several months of intensive work.
Other individuals and stakeholder organisations represented at the handing-over ceremony included the elected political representatives; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; the school board; parents; the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation; the CHASE Fund; the St Elizabeth police; and the JWN Community Council.
Lawrence told the gathering that having assessed the challenges that are faced by the Holland community, the J Wray and Nephew Foundation (JWNF) decided on implementing a project that was impactful and relevant. He said JWN wanted to give a gift to the residents of Holland and its environs that would last for years and help to significantly transform the community.
The school is now equipped with a multi-purpose parenting zone to improve the education and life chances of the more than 53 children now enrolled at the institution, while providing skills training for adults in parenting, entrepreneurship and business management.
The upgrading work included the expansion of classroom blocks; construction of a fully-equipped learning centre and a play area with recreational equipment, accompanying safety features and fencing; the building of new restrooms; the provision of new water storage tanks and improved drainage; a renovated canteen; an upgraded courtyard; the addition of a sick bay; the creation of a vegetable garden; and the construction of an auditorium and a perimeter wall.