Enthusiastic E-Rangers add touch to Labour Day in Manchester

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND
Staff reporter
sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 27, 2018

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — As the selected parish project for Labour Day in Manchester, the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School was set to have a number of beautification activities taking place on Wednesday, including the building of a ramp.

Members of the Environmental Club were seen early on the compound grooming the gardens.

Senior teacher and environmental coordinator, Sheena Beckford-Geary, said that the students showed up early and ready for duty.

“They were really excited. As a matter of fact, the letter that was sent home to the parents said that we start at 6:30 and the rangers were out from after 6:00 to start working,” she said.

The group was aiming to beat the morning sun to transplant some of the items in the school gardens, as well as accomplish other critical tasks.

Beckford-Geary said that recently the club members, who were previously called environmental wardens, are being referred to as environmental rangers (E-Rangers for short), and it has resulted in an added boost of energy from existing members and increased interest from students wanting to get involved.

She said that in addition to the environmental projects, field trips and their job to ensure other students obey the rules in place to keep the school clean, they also help to plant and maintain the crops grown at the school.

Parents who are active with the club can also earn the title as E-Rangers, said Beckford-Geary.

Nafeesa Reid is one such parent and she was seen out with her two children who attend the school, helping to ensure that the Labour Day work progressed.

Only the younger of the two, Jadion Powell, is an E-Ranger but her sister Deandre Williamson, who is a grade six student, was also busy with the beautification.

Young Jadion is in grade one and expressed to the Jamaica Observer that she would like to continue as an E-Ranger as she moves on to higher grades.

Gradually more volunteers, including the Optimist Club of Mandeville, emerged on the school grounds of Mandeville Primary and Junior High.

President Donna Hepburn said that members of her organisation were elated to come out because its mantra as a friend of the youth aligns with the work that was taking place.

In line with the national Labour Day theme 'Ramp it up, Fix it up,' principal of Mandeville Primary and Junior High, Howard Salmon was grateful that his was one of the more than 100 institutions across the island selected to get a ramp.

He said that making the school accessible to the physically challenged was among the plans and estimates were taken to get the work done, but now it will come to reality in a shorter time period.

The Mandeville Infant School, which is a distance away from the Mandeville Primary and Junior High, also benefited from the work of volunteers on Labour Day.

It was all hands on deck from all those who came out — from Sherwin Williams, the Lions Club of Mandeville, Scotia Foundation and Kris An Charles Investments to paint the institution, pave the grounds, and start a container vegetable garden.

Sherril Gopall, service and support manger at Scotiabank Mandeville, said they chose the vegetable garden project because they wanted to enhance the meals that are prepared in the canteen and they would be helping to ensure that it thrives.

Principal of the school, Julian McGregor-Williams said representatives from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the 4-H Club have also committed to assist.

She said that the vegetable garden, which was started in recycled containers, will also be an aid in teaching the 3-6-year-olds who attend the institution.

On a stop at the Mandeville Regional Hospital, the power washing of the walkway was in progress by contractor of janitorial and portering services at the facility, Jac-Den Enterprise.

Shift coordinator Kenroy Douglas said that it was his organisation's way of giving back on Labour Day.

As usual, volunteers were busy brightening the look of the Mandeville town centre.

The Labour Day project for the officers in the Manchester Police Division involved joining forces to get extensive beautification work done at the Spalding Police Station.

The Spalding area borders North East Manchester and North West Clarendon and is in the Area Three Police Division.

Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon Richard Azan, members of the Spalding Citizen's Association, the police and other volunteers collaborated to get the scheduled work done.

As part of the project at the Spalding Police Station, the Member of Parliament handed over a computer to Superintendent of the Manchester Police Division Wayne Cameron.

Labour Day projects in Manchester started early with a variety of groups and individuals.

Many volunteers expressed that their intention was to continue working until the scheduled tasks were accomplished.

According to the Manchester Municipal Corporation, over 50 Labour Day projects were registered to take place across the parish.

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