PACE Canada to present awards to five schools in Jamaica


PACE Canada sends CAD$100,000 annually to schools in Jamaica for upgrades

By Lincoln DePradine

Diana R. Burke

PACE Canada, a federal Canadian charitable organization founded in 1987 by a group of women in the Jamaican Diaspora, is presenting awards to five Jamaican schools that emerged winners in a contest that was held as part of the commemoration of Jamaica’s 60th independence anniversary last year.

Early Childhood Schools were invited to submit entries depicting the theme, “Jamaica Strong’’. They were judged on their “innovative and creative’’ entries, said Diana R. Burke, president of PACE – Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education.

The contest winners were Free Hill Primary & Infant School and Fern Grove Basic School, both in St Ann; St Peter Claver Basic & Primary School, St Andrew; Charles Chin-Loy ECI, Kingston; and Mendez SDA Basic School in St Catherine.

Students and staff of the winning schools will be guests at a luncheon on Friday, March 24, at Alhambra Inn in the Jamaican capital, Kingston.

Burke, who will be present at the event, expressed thanks to several Jamaican businesses – such as Island Grill, Domino’s, Tastee Jamaica, Kentucky and Gourmet Catering – for supporting the initiative to reward the children.

Karlene DeGrasse-Deslandes, executive director of the Early Childhood Commission in Jamaica, extended appreciation to PACE for its ongoing support of schools in the country.

“The Early Childhood Commission extends gratitude to PACE Canada for always supporting the children of Jamaica through initiatives to increase their knowledge and awareness about Jamaica,’’ she said.

PACE has been supporting basic or kindergarten schools across Jamaica through funding, delivery of technology and education opportunities.

According to PACE Canada officials, the organization sends approximately CAD$100,000 to the schools annually to assist with their upgrades.