Members of the Wilks family in the United States are undertaking incremental improvements at Top Hill Primary and Infant School in St Catherine North West, with their latest contribution being JA$156,803.
Principal at the school, Georgette Sewell-Anderson, said the donation will go towards partition of three classrooms, which are now separated with black-boards.
“This contribution will impact us in a positive way as teaching and learning will be less challenging, in that the noise level will be greatly reduced. Students and teachers will be able to focus on what is happening in their own space,” Mrs Anderson said. “This kind gesture is really appreciated by the school family.”
The school’s immediate family comprises four teachers and the 56 students on roll.
Alexander Wilks, this month, presented the cheque to Mrs Anderson on behalf of his relatives who live mainly in New York and New Jersey.
Corliss Oscar, who migrated from Jamaica when she was nine years old, is spearheading the charity initiatives. “It is important to always give back although you’ve left your community,” she said. “Top Hill is still home and members of my family are still there.”
Ms Oscar urged Jamaicans living overseas to help build the communities they left behind; not to tear them down with guns and bullets. “I don’t see why you would want to destroy your country by having the negative press and by sending guns and other weapons home. It’s sad that people are still doing these things,” she lamented.
Ms Oscar, in the meantime, indicated that, when the classroom partition project is completed, her family will shift focus to other areas of the school, including the construction of a perimeter fence and the procurement of computers or tablets for each student.
She further noted that the Wilks family recently made a donation towards the school’s breakfast programme, and hosted a healthfare for Top Hill residents.
With unemployment being relatively high in the community, Ms Oscar said plans are afoot to help alleviate that and other challenges. “We are making small steps until Top Hill is once again where it was in the glory days,” the philanthropist declared.