The Honourable Minister Daryl Vaz hands out books and school supplies to kindergarten children in Portland.

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA, September 22, 2016: Books4Kids Jamaica was honoured by the participation Hon. Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Office of the Prime Minister.

A Member of Parliament for Western Portland, Minister Vaz was delighted to hand out books to 45 three, four and five year old pre-school children at Hope Bay Disciples of Christ Early Childhood Institution (ECI) during yesterday’s Books4Kids Jamaica distribution in Portland parish. Delivering books and supplies, the Minister spent quality time with the Kindergarten children at the small school, to the delight of teachers and parents who were capturing the moment on their cell phones.

288 children at 3 Portland schools received Workbooks, reading books, crayons and pencils yesterday. While Port Antonio Infant School has been part of the program for 7 years, Minister Vaz introduced Hope Bay Disciples of Christ ECI and Little Folks Caring and Early Learning Center in Buff Bay to the Early Childhood Education initiative in 2015. Minister Vaz commended the ECC program and noted that the children really enjoyed the visit and the books; “The children remember the Books4Kids Jamaica team from last year, which is really important.”

Minister Vaz said that he was very heartened by the construction of a new school for the Hope Bay Early Childhood Institution (ECI) in partnership with Food for the Poor.

“It is the last year this school will be in this particular site. We have located a location and I am in the final stages of partnering with Food for the Poor to build a new school. Public private partnership is key for getting Jamaica back on track to fulfill its potential.”

Hon. Daryl Vaz

With the addition of Boundbrook Infant School in Port Antonio to this year’s distribution (Oct), more than 500 Kindergarten children in Portland will receive book bags from the charity this year. Minister Vaz thanked the Books4Kids Jamaica initiative, Palmyra Foundation Chairperson Ragni Trotta and her team for their contribution to the children of Portland, valued at US$15,000.

Under the slogan “The future is bright, when you can read and write”, the program provides 4 and 5 year old Kindergarten children with 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.

This year, the initiative will provide 11,000 children at 120+ Infant Schools, Basic Schools and Early Childhood Institutions schools across the island with books and school materials during the 5 week-long distribution.

Stated Principal Angel Lewis-Henry, Principal; “On behalf of the teachers and staff at the Disciples of Christ, I would like to thank Minister Vaz for taking the time out of his busy schedule to spend time with the children. Let me also thank Books4Kids Jamaica for the books and supplies. These tokens will be of use to the children in their learning ability. We hope you will continue to do this for us at our new location and also for the many other schools that you support.”

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Books4Kids Jamaica’s primary aim is to help increase literacy by providing books and early educational materials to children in pre-schools across Jamaica.