Almost 700 children from six primary schools in the Corporate Area and Clarendon got an immersion into environmentally friendly practices with methods to cut down and eliminate waste, in the fun-filled setting of the J. Wray & Nephew Foundation (JWNF) ‘Sustainable Christmas Treat’ at Devon House.
As a mark of encouragement for sustainable behaviour, five plants were presented to each institution and each student also received seeds to take home, to inculcate habits treating with long term growth and the importance of trees and plants protecting and preserving the environment.
Of course, there were the usual fun elements such as bounce-about, ferris wheel, mechanical bull, rock climbing and other rides all around the cordoned greenery, which was designed with message boards to impart sustainable environmental practices to our children.
Reinforcing those messages were exercises in art and face painting, and even the way in which containers for disposables were labelled, that encouraged recycling.
That environmental practice would reap big rewards for children who got deep inside their thinking cap to share five different ways to use an empty plastic water bottle, with Zoeya Scott of Balmagie Primary and Romaine McLean of Race Course Primary in Clarendon each winning a brand new bicycle, at the culmination of activities.
“We chose to focus on ‘A Sustainable Christmas’ as part of our mandate to educate our children on being good citizens”— Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, Chairman of the JWN Foundation
This would have added to a package that included a recyclable shopping bag and plant seeds, which had already been shelled out to the nearly 700 bunch of joyous children, who went wild over the gift-bearing Santa, clad in the traditional red and white yuletide garb.
The treat, which has witnessed a vast swelling from the school communities within JWN’s Spanish Town Road, New Yarmouth and Appleton Estate properties within the past five years, is in keeping with the JWN Foundation’s commitment to support our communities through purposeful interventions, providing exposure and varied experiences for our nation’s youth and increasing the role of our staff volunteers in giving back to communities in the areas that JWN operate.
“The treat has been inspirational as it provides exposure and is an incentive for students.”— Sangieanna Reid Prince, Principal of Seaview Gardens Primary
“This year, the J. Wray and Nephew Foundation decided to put a new spin on our Christmas Treat by hosting an event focused on promoting sustainability. For the past three years, we have focused on positive messages and affirmations under the heading ‘Fun-spiration’. This year, we chose to focus on ‘A Sustainable Christmas’ as part of our mandate to educate our children on being good citizens by imparting solid environmental practices in an interactive and engaging manner that encourages forward-thinking,” said Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, Chairman of the JWN Foundation.
Sangieanna Reid Prince, Principal of Seaview Gardens Primary, which has participated in the treat for five years, expressed gratitude to the JWN Foundation.
“The treat has been inspirational as it provides exposure and is an incentive for students. They are always excited and look forward to interacting with other students from other schools, along with the J. Wray and Nephew Foundation team who serve as positive role models,” said Reid Prince.
Since 2016, JWN Foundation has hosted and supported Christmas Treats in Kingston, St Elizabeth and Clarendon valued at close to fifteen million Jamaican dollars.