Sunday 18 August, 2019

UTech partners with KFC to spruce up NWC Basic School on Labour Day

A volunteer paints a wall at the NWC Basic School on Labour Day. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

A volunteer paints a wall at the NWC Basic School on Labour Day. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

The National Water Commission (NWC) Basic School in Papine, St Andrew is looking sparkling new after Labour Day, as it received much-needed repairs on Thursday.

Staff members of the institution were joined on the project by representatives from chief organisers University of Technology (UTech), Restaurant Of Jamaica, NWC and the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

Activities included painting, fencing, building a sidewalk, clearing a playground, fixing a walkway and some masonry both inside and outside of the school, which has approximately 150 students between the ages of three and six years old enrolled.

The cleanup will assist the NWC Basic School in its quest to achieve certification from the Early Childhood Commission. Specifically it will help towards the health and safety component for certification.

Approximately 65 volunteers participated in the Labour Day project.

In explaining why the higher education institution adopted the basic school, Paulton Gordon, director of community service and development at UTech, said: "it is right next door to our campus and we decided that whatever support they needed at any point in time we will provide that."

He said that a meeting with principal Lakeisha Coley established the needs of the basic school and the hope is that they will be able to complete all the necessities, with the assistance of hardware stores in Papine, Caribbean Cement Company Limited, Restaurant of Jamaica through the KFC brand and faculties of UTech that provided cash.

Restaurants of Jamaica involvement is part of the company's community outreach initiative, which according to brand manager, Andrei Roper, takes place in communities close to KFC restaurants, with the branch on Hope Road being metres away from the NWC Basic School.

Roper said, "Restaurant Of Jamaica has partnered with the University of Technology's Community Development Department to do some well-needed work here at the NWC Basic School. UTech approached us and it was a good opportunity to partner with them as there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

"We like to support communities in and around our restaurants especially and the UTech community give a lot of support to the KFC on Hope Road and this basic school is an integral part of this community," Roper said.

Denise Thompson-Blair, the human resource manager at the ECC, said the entity decided to be a part of the cleanup to assist in fostering a better environment for the children.

Thompson-Blair said," for the Early Childhood Commission, investing in today's children is critical and we want to ensure that all children across all early childhood institutions are safe in accordance with standard eight of our 12 standards at the Early Childhood Commission.

"We saw it as a pivotal way to give back to the community because they are really in the heart of Kingston and the areas that they are featuring for this Labour Day is child safety.

NWC Basic School Labour Day 2019

"Here, they are fixing the fences, they are fixing the areas to the back that are a threat to the students. So it was an excellent way for us to give back and to show that we really care about the nation's children," Thompson-Blair said.

Principal Coley expressed gratitude for the support and was glad that the assistance will help in the certification process.

She said, "we are grateful for the assistance that they are giving. One of the needs we have currently is ensuring that the classrooms are well lit. So having them painting the school and cleaning up the environment is good."

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