As part of Child Month, which is observed in May, the CB Group hosted an internal book drive collecting close to 500 children’s books.
The first donation of over 200 books was to McAuley Primary School in Spanish Town, St Catherine on Thursday, May 26.
The day commenced with a meet and greet with CB Group staff, teachers and children spanning grades four to six, followed by a read-along and discussion session about the importance of food security and the environment.
CB Group chose McAuley Primary School due to its proximity to The Nest, its eco-industrial agro park in Hill Run, which includes livestock and crop operations, as well as collaborations that benefit the community.
Christopher Parkes, Farm Manager at CB Group’s Hill Run Farm
Processes and infrastructure are purposefully designed using circular principles that promote sustainability, which seeks to improve livelihoods and preserve resources for future generations.
With sustainable farming as the central theme, the interactive discussion was led by Christopher Parkes, Farm Manager at Hill Run Farms, who specialises in broiler and pig operations.
Parkes, a former teacher, captured the attention of students as he passionately spoke about career opportunities in agriculture, sustainability, and important practices in farming like waste management. He also shared ways of how the students can incorporate sustainable practices at school and at home.
Following his presentation, members of the CB Group together with the students read along to the children’s book ‘Ziggy the Island Eco Superhero’. The book by local author Kerry-Ann Willis empowers children to understand that their voices and actions matter, and that they too can make a difference in creating a sustainable future.
CB Group Brand Manager Joelle Fontaine said, “With it being Child Month, it was important that we not only donate the books but continue to impart knowledge and inspire the children. While [CB Group] has various business lines and operations, we’re still an agricultural hub and at the end of the day with food security and self-sufficiency as national goals, we believe that agriculture provides the career of the future.”
“We want to change what Jamaicans — especially the younger generation — think of farming. It touches every part of our daily lives and the industry provides many different avenues for careers,” she continued.
In expressing gratitude to CB Group, Principal of McAuley Claudia Byer said, “It is a great initiative from CB to do this presentation to our students; we really appreciate it. From grades four to six, we incorporate topics on farming, the environment and climate change in our curriculum, hence why we have these children here today, so I know it will be of great help to them going forward”.