Wray & Nephew Foundation signs up for Kingston Book Festival
World-renowned percussionist, Jody Linscott (left), beats the drum with Nickaelia Bennett (yellow top) and Jadan Wilks (black top) during the recent J Wray and Nephew Foundation (JWNF)-sponsored musical workshop with Seaview Gardens Primary School's drum group at Serengeti, Hope Zoo, during which musical instruments were presented to the group.
The J Wray & Nephew Foundation (JWNF) has thrown its support behind the 2018 staging of Kingston Book Festival, the country’s largest book fair, as the main sponsor.
The week-long event will run from March 4-11, at Hope Gardens, and will feature Jamaica-American child author and activist, Marley Dias, along with several other educational activities.
“The event embraces all our key pillars of social inclusion, education and culture, and so we saw it as important to lend our support,” said JWNF Board Director, Tanikie McClarthy-Allen.
In carrying out its mission of ‘transforming lives and communities for a better Jamaica’, JWNF places strong emphasis on education, which involves community scholarship offerings for tertiary and secondary students, among other things.
In 2017, community scholarship offerings were quadrupled from 25 to 100 as a part of the foundation’s five-year commitment to increase student access to education.
JWN Foundation’s support for the book fair will see the organisation arranging a special forum with Marley Dias, to meet and greet 60 students from communities along the Spanish Town Road corridor in St Andrew, which is close to JWN’s Kingston production facility.
The activity will take place on International Women’s Day, which is also being recognised as Girl’s Day at the four participating schools - Balmagie Primary, Seaview Gardens Primary, Seaward Primary & Junior High, and St Patrick’s Primary.
Each of school will have 15 female students represented at the forum that will allow for open dialogue between Marley and her peers.
World-renowned percussionist, Jody Linscott (centre), stands next to Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, Chairman, J Wray and Nephew (JWN) and JWN Foundation, along with Tanikie McClarthy-Allen (fourth left, back row), JWN Director, Public Affairs and Sustainability, and Everton Pessoa (left), music teacher, Seaview Gardens Primary School. Occasion was a JWNF-sponsored musical workshop with the Seaview Gardens Primary School’s drum group at Serengeti, Hope Zoo.
“We view high-level exposure with accomplished individuals like Marley, from other backgrounds, as a necessary component in the development of our young people. These types of interactions allow for the sharing of inspirational stories that in turn, not only strengthens the participant’s belief in what they can accomplish, but also gives them a vision of what is possible, thereby allowing them to set higher goals and loftier aspirations,” said McClarthy-Allen, who is also JWN’s Director of Public Affairs and Sustainability.
Last year, JWNF brought in Jamaica’s former world female boxing champion, Alicia Ashley, for a female empowerment tour; and world-renowned percussionist, American Jody Linscott, for a musical workshop with Seaview Gardens Primary. This was complemented by a high-energy presentation from local business executive, Mark Chisholm, at the foundation’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony, with his inspirational rags-to-riches story. The Scholarship Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, marked the culmination of the foundation’s 2017 educational programme.
In addressing the impact of scholarships and other programmes at last year’s awards, Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, Chairman of JWN and JWNF, said: “More youths will be given the opportunity to further their studies and matriculate to a higher level of education, without having to bear all the burden of related school fees.”
He added that: “More families will experience transformation and economic empowerment through the JWN Foundation’s programmes, and more communities will be assisted in citizen-led initiatives that are solutions-oriented, to lift the discourse across this great nation.”
The foundation, established in 2012, focuses largely on developing the areas surrounding J Wray & Nephew’s operations - at Spanish Town Road in St Andrew, New Yarmouth in Clarendon, and Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth.