The Breakfast Programme
We take it for granted that a good day starts with a healthy breakfast, but many of the students we are working with in Jamaica arrive at school without having any breakfast at all. We have been working with our partner schools in the United States to raise money to ensure that we can provide a meal for every student at the start of the school day.
"Programmes that alleviate hunger in schools are likely to produce improvements in school achievements." - a finding from the Universal Free Breakfast Program Evaluation Design Project. See the full report here.
As well as introducing arts based programmes into schools that have little or no arts curriculum, the arts have proved to be a great way to connect our students from partner schools in ways in which they can share, learn and enjoy each others' cultures.
2015 saw the culmination of our first project in which students from Hamilton Park Montessori in Jersey City, and students from Bigwoods Primary school in St. Elizabeth JA, collaborated on a song project. Two Jamaican folk songs were sent to New Jersey, and two school favourites were sent to St. Elizabeth. All students learned all four songs and they were recorded and combined into a set of recordings that blended both schools together, singing as one. A concert was performed in NJ with the JA school performing via pre-recorded film footage. It was an experience to hear the Hamilton Park students singing Jamaican patois!
Projects in the pipeline include a documentary photography project where the children can share and document their daily lives, and the building of one (or several) giant percussion machines.
Donations of Supplies
Here at the Jamaica Project we believe that there is more than enough in this world to go around, and items do not need to be new to be useful! In an over-consuming, over-populated world we are trying to stick to the mantra of "reduce, reuse, recycle." To that end we have been working with our partner schools in the US, and with the greater community to collect items that can be re-used or re-purposed in Jamaica. We are aiming to build up libraries, find computer equipment, office supplies, soccer boots and more. Please check out our wishlist, and if you feel you can help, feel free to contact us here.