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1,000 Books Donated to 10 Schools in Western Jamaica

Photo: Natalia Dixon

Children from schools across western Jamaica display books they received during the Blue World Travel Corp. Festival At Sea children’s book donation ceremony at the Montego Bay Cruise Port in St. James on July 28. Sharing the moment are (back row) Visitor Relations Manager, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Candesa Cassanova (left); Business Development Manager, JTB Western USA Office, Dian Holland (second left); Founder, Sarah’s Children, Pamela Findlay (third right), President, Blue World Travel Corp, Patricia Yarbrough (second right) and Los Angeles Unified School District Administrator, Peggy Taylor Presley. Approximately 1,000 books were donated to students at 10 schools.

Photo: Natalia Dixon

Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Visitor Relations Manager, Candesa Cassanova (right), and Business Development Manager for the JTB’s Western USA Office, Dian Holland (centre), present tokens to Blue World Travel Corp. President, Patricia Yarbrough, during the organisation’s Festival at Sea children’s book donation ceremony at the Montego Bay Cruise Port in St. James on July 28.

1,000 Books Donated to 10 Schools in Western Jamaica

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Approximately 1,000 books have been donated to 10 schools in western Jamaica by United States (US) entity, Blue World Travel Corp.

Among the beneficiary institutions are the Montego Bay Infant School, Green Pond Primary and Infant School, Pisgah Primary and Infant School, Albion Primary School, Cambridge Infant School, Falmouth Infant School, Niagara Primary School, and Retrieve Primary School.

The books were presented during the organisation’s Festival at Sea children’s book donation ceremony at the Montego Bay Cruise Port in St. James on July 28.

The donations were facilitated in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Sarah’s Children and the Los Angeles Unified School District in the US.

Representatives of Blue World Travel hosted passengers aboard Celebrity Cruises’ ship, ‘Equinox’.

The guests participated in the organisation’s annual Festival at Sea African-American Cultural Cruise.

This event is a celebration of, among other things, culture, music and comedy, during which they were encouraged to donate children’s books to the drive.

In her remarks, the JTB’s Visitor Relations Manager, Candesa Casanova, expressed gratitude to Blue World Travel and other partner stakeholders for facilitating the book drive.

“On behalf of the people of Jamaica, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your kindness and compassion in donating books to our schoolchildren. Your generosity showcases the true spirit of humanity and embodies the essence of what it means to be a global citizen,” she said.

“Education is a gift that opens doors and transforms lives, and your thoughtful contributions will undoubtedly make a significant difference in the lives of our young learners. Your books will be treasured and utilised to nurture the minds of our future leaders, scholars and innovators,” Ms. Casanova added.

Blue World Travel Corp. President, Patricia Yarbrough, thanked the passengers for purchasing books and donating these to the drive, while underscoring the importance of their participation.

She also thanked employees of the Festival at Sea cruise for participating in the endeavour.

For her part, Los Angeles Unified School District Administrator, Peggy Taylor Presley, said the books were donated with “a deep appreciation and love for the joy of learning and reaching out and sharing that joy with others”.

She pointed out that in addition to books, the passengers donated knapsacks containing basic school supplies.

“I must [commend] our passengers for being the caring, warm-hearted individuals that they are and [for] wanting to make sure that when we leave, those of you who live here will say ‘that’s a group of caring individuals who wanted to make a difference’,” Mrs. Taylor Presley stated.

“I think there is hope for the world, because these are people that don’t know you or your families personally but they still wanted to contribute. It is with joy that I represent our passengers with these gifts and hope that you will accept them with the love and understanding of the need that we support each other,” she added.

Founder of Sarah’s Children, Pamela Findlay, thanked Blue World Travel and other stakeholders for choosing to donate the books to several of Jamaica’s schools.

She also underscored the importance of reading in child development and building a knowledge base.

Blue World Travel has been hosting the Caribbean Book Drive for some 31 years, during which donations have been made in several countries.

These include St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, St. Croix, Barbados, St. Marten, Belize, and The Bahamas.

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