Record Number of Sponsors Participate as Early Childhood Education Initiative Delivers Books to 6,103 Children at 61 Schools

Written by Staff Writer

“56 program sponsors have participated in schools visits, delivery books and school supplies to Pre-school children so far. More than 11,000 Kindergarten children at 120 schools to receive books and school supplies this year.”

Books4Kids Jamaica announced record participation of sponsors in this year’s delivery of books to Infant Schools, Basic Schools and Early Childhood Institutions across the island. Half way through this year’s book distribution, 55 sponsors and volunteers have participated in schools visits, helping to deliver books and school materials to 6,103 children at 61 schools, impressing the importance of reading and writing upon the young minds of tomorrow.

The September book distribution is the culmination of the charity’s annual effort and all sponsors are encouraged to personally hand out book bags and help make the event a positive experience for the children. This year, the initiative will provide more than 11,000 children at 120+ schools across the island with books and school materials during the 5 week-long event. Through the program, 4 and 5 year old children receive a book bag containing a 300-page Brain Quest Workbook, a reading book, crayons and a pencil, while 3 year old Kindergarten students receive a small ABC book, crayons and a pencil.

Sponsors who have already taken part in this year’s distribution include Azure, AJAS Aviation Services, Grand Palladium Jamaica & Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, Jamaica Tours Ltd., Hanover Charities, Billy Craig Insurance, Caribbean Immigration Services, Delta Air Lines, Half Moon Hotel & Resort, Island Entertainment Brands, Rose Hall Developments Ltd., Jamaica Customs Service, RJR Communications, The Citizens Advice Bureau and Spirit Airlines.

The three person TV team from Books4Kids Jamaica sponsors Azure, travelled all the way from the European island country of Malta to partake in the distribution, delivering books to 1,800 children at 12 schools during their 5 day visit to Jamaica. Said Kirsti Newton, Marketing Editor for Azure: “Sometimes you see charities doing remarkable things for a worthy cause and choose to support them. I can honestly say that visiting Jamaica’s schools and handing out books to the Pre-school children, witnessing their eyes light up and seeing such enthusiasm to learn, is an experience that will stay with me forever. You cannot help but be moved by the warm welcome displayed by each and every school, teacher and pupil and this book drive makes a massive difference. I’ll be back, as I left a piece of my heart in Jamaica.”

Stated Barry Byrne, Managing Director for AJAS Aviation Services Limited, who participated in force to help with the distribution of books to 500 five year old students at Montego Bay Infant School, St. James; “The AJAS Team was privileged to assist in handing out books at the Montego Bay Infants School on behalf of the Books4Kids Jamaica program. It was a heartwarming experience for all concerned.”

Feedback from other sponsors continues to be encouraging; “Thank you for the opportunity to collaborate with you and keep up the good work!,” said Elisa Valero, Human Resources Executive Director at Grand Palladium Jamaica & Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa in Lucea, who handed out books to 311 children at Lucea Infant School and Sandy Bay Infant Schools in Hanover together with her team.

Stated Patrick Mullett, VP of Operations at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Caribbean, who partook at the distributions at Falmouth Infant School, Hague Infant School and Salt Marsh Basic Schools in Trelawny; “To see the faces of these children when you give them their book bag is absolutely priceless. It was an amazing experience!”

With another three weeks of remaining of the 2016 book distribution, more than 60+ schools across the island remain on the charity’s scheduled school visits. Many more sponsors are expected to join the community effort during the remaining three weeks of the book distribution. Said Ragni Trotta, Chairperson: “We are very excited about the massive turnout of sponsors this year, this is a true community project involving people from all walks of life. Once sponsors get to personally hand out the books to the children, they fall in love with the children and see first-hand that the money they helped raise is being well spent.”

Books4Kids Jamaica receives no grants from government bodies and raises funds to purchase books for the children through its annual Online Charity Auction.

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Staff Writer