Forty-seven students at Blake’s Basic School in Greenwich Town will have a safer, more beautiful learning environment thanks to Petrojam Limited. On Labour Day , May 23, 2014, the Management and Staff of Pertrojam Limited united with community members to give the basic school a well-needed facelift This will assist with their meeting operational standards set by the Early Childhood Commission. Approximately two million dollars was spent to conduct roof repairs, paint classrooms, the perimeter walls, among other areas and to start a School Garden.
The school was said to have been last painted in 2007 and coupled with a dilapidated roof, it proved to be a major challenge with the inspectorate from the Commission.
“The ECC was threatening to close us down. September is the next major inspection and this will be good for us. We are now well on our way to getting the school recognized,” said Rosemarie Palmer, Principal for the past 31 years. She noted that she was overjoyed when Petrojam approached her to conduct their Labour Day Project at the school. “The Petrojam workers came out; they are so nice and helpful. I love what I see! The children will be so happy,” she added.
Blake’s Basic School is also home to the community’s resource centre where other members of the community access the use of computers. Jenille Palmer, a resident of Greenwich Town, highlighted how valuable the beautification project is for the children and the community. “It is good for the children and the community as it is also a community centre. The kids will be more comfortable in a cleaner environment,” she said.
Petrojam has been strengthening its Corporate Social Initiative through a number of activities geared at improving the lives of fellow Jamaicans, namely their Annual Health Fair, GSAT Scholarship Programme and more recently, the Graduate Internship Programme. Petrojam’s volunteers included interns and GSAT Scholarship recipients who found the Labour Day Project to be a meaningful experience. Simone Brown, Graduate Intern at Petrojam shared her sentiments about her involvement in the project. “It was really a good initiative and I like giving back to others. Petrojam has given me an opportunity at a one year internship and I could do no less than to be part of this project. It makes me feel a part of the Petrojam family,” Brown noted. Tonie-Ann Palmer, 2012 GSAT Scholarship Recipient, found the experience rewarding as it was an opportunity for her to assist others.
Board Chairman of the Blakes Basic School, Godfrey Lothian, expressed gratitude for the contribution. “The Community Council and teachers are thankful for the great things you’ve done. The relationship with the community will definiely improve and we hope you will continue to help us,” he said.