Commitment to Education
Kingston Wharves’ unwavering commitment to nation-building is evidenced by, among other things, a solid partnership with the Union Gardens Christian Academy, an Early Childhood Institution located close to our corporate offices in Newport West, Kingston. We are proud of our association with the Institution and, even moreso, of the resulting improvement demonstrated by both students and faculty. Over the last five years the KWL Group has invested more than $15Million in the school, supporting physical plant upgrades, equipment acquisitions, annual treats and the certification of staff.
During 2013, we disbursed our final payment to the Shortwood Teachers’ College in support of a full scholarship for Ms. Vanette Smith, Teacher and Vice Principal of the school since 2004. Ms. Smith graduated during the year and is now a qualified early education instructor. This is a major feat for the developing school as the introduction of a formally trained educator has taken them a step closer to realizing their goal of total compliance with the requirements of the Early Childhood Commission and the Ministry of Education.
In 2015, as part of the commemoration of our 70-years of working to transform the lives of young people in the community in which it operates, the support to the School was significantly increased. KWL collaborated with private and public stakeholders to conceptualise, design, fund, construct and administer self-sustaining operations to the School, a best-in-class early childhood facility, located in the surrounding community of Greenwich Farm. The ‘new’ School, opened in September 2015, welcomed 103 children between the ages of 3 – 6years. The facility features large, airy classrooms with adjoining bathrooms, a spacious auditorium, covered walkway-linked buildings with play areas and landscaped common areas, and has the capacity for 150 students. This more than doubles the capacity of the original Union Gardens Christian Academy, adopted by KWL in 2005.
KWL continues to participate in the life of the School through its membership on the Board of the umbrella stakeholder group – The Union Gardens Foundation, a duly registered charitable organization under the 2013 Charities Act. The success of the Union Gardens Project has generated support for the Foundation to replicate the initiative in other communities in Jamaica.