Message from PACE Canada President Regarding COVID-19 in Jamaica
Dear members and friends,
Over the past few months PACE, like many other charitable organizations, our members and our supporters, have been faced with the Covid-19 pandemic disruptions to our organization plans, strategies and activities, including cancellation of the Strawberry Social, a major source of funding for our operations.
However, I am very pleased to advise that our Board of Directors, while all working remotely and utilizing virtual communications, developed and executed several innovative approaches to continue operating effectively and to ensure the increased level of support needed for the early childhood institutions in Jamaica. We also need to thank our partners at the Jamaica Early Childhood Commission (ECC) in the Ministry of Education who also provided some unique and welcome support to ensure the kindergarten schools received the PACE donations in a timely and efficient manner.
Highlights of our accomplishments included:
- Our sincere thank you and appreciation go out to the sponsors of the PACE Adopt-A-School program who continued to provide donations for their selected kindergarten schools in Jamaica, despite their work and personal disruptions.
- This resulted in 163 schools receiving donations of over CA $78,000 (JA $7+M) so far this year.
- A Covid-19 Fundraiser launched in August 2020 resulted in donations of over CA $20,000 (JA $20M) to 94 schools identified by the ECC as the schools most in need of help in modifications and supplies to meet the covid-19 government regulations to open safely and securely in October 2020. We thank these generous donors for their support.
- The pandemic also slowed our focus on the Model School program launched in November 2019. However, donations of C$980 was received for each of the two schools and included in the Fall disbursements
- In June we held a fun and successful “Stay At Home Scavenger Hunt” developed and chaired by our Board members, who are George Brown College professors. It raised funds from over 40 participants, and from members and supporters to help with the administrative and operational costs of the organization.
- PACE partnered with the Central Jamaica Conference organization led by Angela Brown to accommodate their support of over 20 kindergarten schools in Jamaica through the Adopt-A-School Program.
- PACE welcomed two new Patrons to our organization; Lorna King and Delores Lawrence
- On July 21, 2020 PACE held a virtual Annual General Meeting to elect the 2020-2021 Board of Directors and Officers who are included in this newsletter. Please join me in welcoming some new members and thanking these outstanding volunteers for their dedication and support in Helping Young Children Succeed.
- The Board of Directors and several Patrons held a virtual strategy and planning session on September 24, 2020. Some innovative ideas were identified, and you will hear more about these as the plans are further defined.
- An update on the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College Diagnostic and Infant Centre indicates that a total of CA$86,385 (of the PACE donated funds) has been expended to date. Between September 2019 and January 31, 2020, a total of 215 assessments were undertaken by the centre.. Our Blog post has a summary of their report.
- Welcome letters on behalf of the Board were sent to the newly appointed High Commissioner to Canada Ambassador Sharon Miller and the Consul General to Toronto Lincoln Downer. We are pleased that they have graciously accepted our invitation of Honorary Membership in PACE Canada, and look forward to productive engagement with them during their tenure.
Lastly, PACE is saddened by the loss of two of our long time Adopt-A-School sponsors Salome Miller and Kathleen Khouri and send our sincere condolences to their family and wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Thank you for your support!
President, P.A.C.E. (Canada)