Project STAR establishes homework centre in Parade Gardens Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Project STAR, in partnership with PwC, Universal Service Fund (USF), e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, has launched the east downtown Kingston homework programme in Parade Gardens.

Sharise Staines-Appleby, community services lead at Project STAR, said the programme is an initiative of the Community Transformation Board in Parade Gardens, which recommended a homework programme for the community.

“The homework programme will not only assist the kids with their homework but will also give them support in the areas of numeracy, literacy, and reading, which are fundamental in order to improve their capacity and the educational outcome of the community,” she said. 

The Project STAR community services lead said that the programme will take place three days per week for students at the primary level and one day for students at the secondary level. In addition, the students will be provided with a meal each evening. The programme also hosts a computer centre and an area for printing educational materials.


Bruce Scott, territory leader at PwC Jamaica said that his organisation was happy to partner with Project STAR on the initiative.

“The reason we have invested our money in this venture is that we believe in the power of education. The established saying is, ‘if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day’ but teach him to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” he said.

“This homework centre is a major step in helping these children achieve their education. I’m not just talking, as I’m a proud product of the inner-city who was able to excel on the back of education,” he said. 

Scott, who grew up in Southside, said PwC Jamaica is a legacy donor of Project STAR and has invested $2.1 million in the operations of the homework centre.

Andrew Lee, CEO of e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited, said his organisation is truly honoured to have played a pivotal role in supporting the Parade Gardens Homework Programme. 

“As we extend our commendation to Project STAR for their leadership in this community engagement initiative, we recognise the profound impact this will have on the youths of Parade Gardens and beyond,” he said.

e-learning Jamaica has provided access to technological tools, including 31 desktop computers, which will be used by the children to do their research for their assignments and provide computer literacy.

“Our commitment to infusing technology into the public education system extends beyond the typical classroom, reaching into the hearts of communities where it’s needed most. We are proud to stand alongside Project STAR, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, and other generous donors in this noble endeavour, and we eagerly anticipate the transformative outcomes that will emerge as a result of our collective efforts,” he said.

Daniel Dawes, chief executive officer of the USF said that its partnership with Project-star for the completion of the homework centre at Parade Gardens is another example of the USF’s commitment to ensure a safe, available, and functional space is provided for children to utilise the internet and other ICT facilities. 

“We are elated at the result of our unified effort and look forward to working with the Project STAR team in a unified vision of building communities and empowering citizens through technology,” he said.

Universal Service Fund has invested over $2 million to the initiative to cover the wireless and wired network infrastructure, dedicated internet access and the necessary furniture and fittings.

Meanwhile, parents have expressed their gratitude for the initiative. According to Patricia Durrant-Young of the Parenting Club of Parade Gardens, “It is a good initiative because it will help with their socialisation skills and bring unity among them.” 

Andrea Rhoden-Smith said the programme will help the students and parents, especially those who have challenges understanding the homework.

“I am very interested in the programme, as I have my grandchildren and nieces who will benefit from it. So, I am glad for this initiative,” said Fiona Sloley, another resident of Parade Gardens.