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Books4Kids Jamaica Distributes Bookbags To 465 Children At Kingston Schools. 8,000 Preschool Children To Benefit From Books And Materials From The Initiative This Year

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Books4Kids Jamaica announced today that the initiative distributed books and materials to 465 children at three Kingston schools last week; St. Joseph Infant School, St. George’s Girls Infant School and Calabar Infant School. 6107 children at 64 schools have received books and materials from the Early Childhood Education community initiative so far this year. The charity expects to hand out books and materials to over 8,000 pre-school children in 2022.

The JetBlue team and Books4Kids Jamaica teams together at St. Josephs Infant. JetBlue representatives: Sasha-Lee Williams, Shenna Edwards, Alision Daley, Sanya Peart, Cameron Hylton, Shadhae Crossgill, ShannaKay Reynolds, Addoneika Blake, Roshay Smith, Ruhmayne Marrett, Andrea Henry and Tracy Ross. Books4Kids Jamaica team: Frank Perolli, Kathy Dear, Christopher Clarke, Ragni TrottaShenna Edwards, Supervisor for JetBlue, handing out books to 4 year old girl at St. Joseph’s Infant

The charity raised over US$50k towards the purchase of books and materials through their 2022 Online Charity Auction and generous contributions from sponsors.

Sasha-Lee Williams, Airport and Ground Operations Supervisor for JetBlue, handing out blue bookbag to 4 year old girl at St. Joseph’s InfantSt. Joseph’s Infant Principal Rosemary Clarke supervising line of 3 year olds waiting for their ABC book and crayons

Through the Books4Kids program, 4 and 5 year old children receive a blue or red book bag containing the popular 300-page BrainQuest Workbook, a reading book, a pack of crayons and a pencil, while 3 year old children receive an ABC colouring book and crayons. 

5 year old boys at St. Joseph’s Infant showing off their red bookbagsThe Jetblue team and 5 year old students with bookbags at St. Joseph’s Infant School

Long term sponsors Jetblue were present in force with a team of 12 representatives to hand deliver books and materials to 293 preschool children at St. Joseph Infant School, downtown Kingston on Thursday Oct. 20. Said Shenna Edwards, Supervisor for JetBlue; “Books4Kids is a great initiative, and we look forward to it every year. It is a really awesome feeling to hand out books and interact with the kids. We can see how much they are learning, and the BrainQuest Workbooks has a variety of things that keep the kids interested.”

The Books4Kids Jamaica team together with The Honourable Daryl Vaz, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology and Member of Parliament for Western Portland. From left to right; Frank Perolli (Charity Board Member) Minister Vaz, Ragni Trotta (Charity Board Member), Christopher Clarke (Sponsor) and Kathy Dear (Sponsor).Books4Kids Jamaica Frank Perolli, Christopher Clarke and Kathy Dear handing out bookbags to 5 year old girls at St. George’s Girls Infant School

The Early Childhood Education initiative is founded on the belief that getting physical books into the hands of young children can make a significant and important impact on their learning and future academic ability. Said Mrs. Rosemary Clarke, Principal of St. Josephs Infant, “Books are gifts that we really appreciate because at St. Joseph’s, our emphasis is on reading from the very beginning. Also, the colours and the fund exercises in the BrainQuest Workbooks excites the children. There are some students that do not have the necessary books, and to them, the Workbook is extra useful.”

5 year old girls at St. George’s Girls Infant School

In addition to the 293 children at St. Joseph Infant School, 52 five-year old students at St. George’s Girls Infant School and 84 preschoolers at Calabar Infant school also received books and materials. A further 36 bookbags will be distributed to the children at Mona Common Basic School next week.

Books4Kids Jamaica Ragni Trotta with 5 year old girl at Calabar Infant school

During their visit to Kingston, the Books4Kids Jamaica team also met with long term sponsor and supporter The Honourable Daryl Vaz, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology and Member of Parliament for Western Portland. Said The Honourable Minister Vaz; “Books4Kids Jamaica has a long and impressive track record. I personally support the initiative, handing out books to around 500 children in Portland every year. I applaud the charity’s ultimate goal of delivering book bags to all Jamaica’s preschool children and I encourage all corporate sponsors to support the initiative. I am delighted to see them back in Kingston again.”

A massive logistic undertaking, long term sponsors Jamaica Tours Ltd. is providing free transportation services, bringing volunteers, books and materials to the many schools. So far, 34 volunteers have visited small and large Early Childhood Education institutions across the island to hand deliver books to the children. Said Frank Perolli, Board Member of Books4Kids Jamaica: “Our schools visits are not only about delivering the books. We aim to make it a fun and memorable experience for the children and inspire an interest in learning.”

This year’s books were shipped to the island courtesy of sponsors Seaboard & Freight Jamaica Ltd. while warehouse services have been provided by Rainforest Seafood Caribbean.

Follow us on @books4kids_jamaica for regular photos and video updates from our school visit.

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