Nestled in the deep rural community of Mocho, Clarendon, Richmond Park Primary School has been a beacon of light in the academics and co-curricular activities. These programmes received a further boost recently through a donation of over USD $3500 courtesy of Dr. Tina Carroll Scott, brainchild of the recently staged 5K Gallop held in Miami Florida on August 27, 2022. The main purpose of these funds is to help improve the lives of students who were hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. She was ably partnered by Mr. Dwight Marshalleck, an alumnus of Richmond Park Primary School who championed the cause of securing such funds by inspiring past students to donate to their alma mater.
Recently, several students experienced significant learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequity in the delivery of the curriculum via online platforms. This substantial donation brings hope to the disadvantaged and comes at an opportune time when stakeholders within the education sector are renewing calls for more support. Principal of Richmond Park Primary School, Delwyn Gordon, was a picture of gratitude and remarked, “Students are so deserving of this assistance as they continue to make our school proud in the areas of academics and co-curricular activities. In the most recent National Education Inspectorate report, the school received an overall rating of “good” an upgrade from satisfactory. For the past five years, students’ performance in Literacy has been rated above the national average.”
On Monday, October 3, 2022, the school staged a memorable handing-over ceremony, also dubbed as the “home coming” for Mr. Dwight Marshalleck, an alumnus who spearheaded the raising of over USD $3,500. He read to students from his award selling novel “A Season of Big Mountains”, fifty copies of which will be donated to students of the institution pending clearance from Customs, Jamaica. Mr. Marshalleck also interacted with students and unveiled a table tennis board which was purchased from the funds raised separately outside of the fundraiser.
In his reflection, Mr. Marshalleck reiterated, “This trip turned out to be a pilgrimage for me-a sacred journey to bring closure to some poignant memories. The laughter of the children when I interacted with them is filled with their hope.”
In his recollection, he noted that his trip was not an easy one the moment he landed in Jamaica. However, “a pilgrimage is not supposed to be easy, but cleansing, spiritual and refreshing. It did all of that.”
Mr. Marshalleck also lauded the efforts of Dr. Tina Carroll-Scott for inspiring the project and travelling from Miami for the presentation.
At the handing-over function at Richmond Park Primary School, Dr. Tina Carroll-Scott, a paediatrician of Jamaican descent and currently the Medical Director of the South Miami Children’s Clinic in Miami, gave an overview of the 5K Gallop Charity event and what motivated her to initiate such an impactful fundraiser: “I saw the devastation the pandemic had on the island with so many children, especially those in rural areas, without access to proper Wi-Fi and vital resources. I wanted to do something to help these children start off this new school year successfully. The goal was $60,000 USD to commemorate Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of independence but almost $62,000 USD was raised. It was planned in only 3 months but Jamaicans in the diaspora answered the call to give back. They gave graciously to their alma maters and I believe that next year will be an even bigger fundraising event. If we want to “Re-Ignite a Nation for Greatness”, it must start with investing in our children.”
In addition to a table tennis board purchased to diversify recreational activities for students, Dr. Scott has negotiated the purchase of a smartboard from Royale Computers.
Members of the Richmond Park teaching staff, students, parents and representatives from the Ministry of Education expressed their profound gratitude to the benefactors, Dr. Tina Carroll-Scott, Mr. Dwight Marshalleck and all past students who made contributions. “The acquisition of the table tennis board and the smart interactive screen will serve as a symbol of hope for children in this poor farming community”, said Principal Gordon.
Learn more about 5k Gallop