Cool Runnings Positive Vibes 56

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Over 100 tablets have been distributed to students attending schools in St. Elizabeth and South Manchester, by United States based Jamaican philanthropist, Denise Stewart.

Ms. Stewart who is a native of St. Elizabeth, said she was moved to assist after it was brought to her attention by teachers, that students were unable to access online learning, because they were without a device.

Assisted by family members and friends, Miss Stewart liaised with school principals and other officials to identify the students who were in need of assistance.

She told JIS News that the support from donors for the initiative “has been extremely good.”

Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Franklyn Witter, contributed 10 of the 120 tablets, as well as funds to purchase data, for some of the beneficiaries.

The last batch of tablets were presented to the students on January 12.

Miss Stewart said her aim is to equip 500 students with tablets across the two parishes.

“My satisfaction is seeing the joys on the faces of the children and I want to go to the other parts of St. Elizabeth and go further into Manchester, where I was schooled. Hopefully we will have more donors coming on board. Let us help, let us give somebody something to smile about,” she said.

Meanwhile, Principal of Morningside Primary and Infant School, in St. Elizabeth, Nahalia Lynch said with the many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Miss Stewart is giving the students a “fighting chance and opportunity to maximise their learning potential.”

“We are grateful [and] the whole community rallies behind Miss Stewart and her donors,” Miss Lynch said.

Teacher at the Ballards Valley Primary School, Rose Marie Steele, described the tablet drive as a “wonderful job”.

“We are impressed, the children are delighted. I hope that others will assist the programme, because it is really beneficial,” Miss Steele said.

For guidance counsellor at the New Forrest Primary and Infant School, Simone Lewis, the tablets have come “right on time”.

“The students have been helped, and I am happy for that. Many students from different schools have been helped, she is touching lives, and we [are] seeing the impact, students are grateful, and as you help, you are helping our children, and that goes a far way for our nation,” she stated.

By Garfield Angus – Jamaica Information Service

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