KINGSTON – Students from 50 schools who participated in the inaugural LASCO Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) were recognized for their outstanding work at a special awards ceremony and luncheon held today (May 14, 2013) at the Knutsford Court Hotel, St Andrew.
Moneague Primary and Junior High in St Ann emerged with top scores winning the main prize of the LASCO REAP Trophy and 10 computers for its computer lab. Also receiving computers for its/their schools were second and third placed winners, Highgate Primary and Junior High in St Mary and Denham Town Primary in Kingston. The Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Preserving our Natural Environment was presented to Moneague’s Cadayne Lewis, the top student from the winning Environmental club. Cadayne also won a scholarship amounting to $20,000 from the NCB Foundation.
The LASCO Chairman’s Lascelles Chin Award, also for Excellence in Preserving our Natural Environment, was presented to Jordayne Mundy, the top student of the second place school, Highgate Primary and Junior High.
Other schools finishing among the top five were third placed Denham Town Primary whose Amelia Powell, won for Best Poem; Goshen All-Age in St Elizabeth was fourth and Albert Town Primary in Trelawny finished fifth.
The top placed teachers were Annette MacDonald and Cordella West from Moneague.
Members of the winning environmental club all received medals courtesy of the RJR Communications Group and other consolation prizes.
The top students from 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th placed schools all received scholarships from NCB Foundation and other consolation prizes.
Speaking at today’s awards ceremony, Mr. Lascelles Chin, OJ, Chairman and CEO of LASCO Affiliated Companies, main sponsors of the project, congratulated all who participated in the programme for their involvement and commitment.
He noted that the description of Jamaica as the ‘Land of Wood and Water’ was being seriously undermined by groups of people cutting down forests to make charcoal.
Mr. Chin said the LASCO REAP Programme was an important step towards reversing that trend. In commending the students for their commitment, the LASCO chairman urged them to see the programme as a metaphor for their lives.
He said to reap success, they had to learn to work together as part of a bigger team, setting aside individualistic concerns and to focus instead on the collective good of the society.
Mr. Chin also reminded them that they should not expect to reap overnight success in their various endeavours. Rather, they should set long term goals and work continually to improve themselves.
Referring specifically to the LASCO REAP project, he noted that to date, more than 2,500 trees have been planted island-wide.
LASCO REAP was launched in October 2012, in an effort to reinforce the popular description of Jamaica as the Land of Wood and Water. This was done as part of an awareness building programme targeting primary school level children to be become more actively involved in the environment around them.
The LASCO REAP Programme was executed with a view to creating a new zeal both in the student population as well as with the local community at large.
It was launched in commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence and included a competition initiated among 50 pre-selected schools island-wide. This served to increase awareness of the correlation of lifestyle and environment.
The mission of LASCO Reap is to increase environmental awareness and education in students in all primary schools, including the 50 pre-selected Schools island-wide via a competition focusing on the following areas:
– Comprehensive Talent Competition in the Areas of Poetry, Dance, Song, Art and
Essay (all related to the theme of environmental awareness)
– Reforestation via Comprehensive Tree- Planting Programme
– Energy Conservation and Recycling
– Vegetable and Flower Garden Design and Maintenance
– Anti-Litter and Clean up Campaign (School and Community)
– Greenbelt Depletion and Urban Development AWARENESS
Representatives from other corporate affiliates such as the Sandals Foundation, the NCB Foundation, Protect the Environment, RADA and the Forestry Department also made presentations at today’s ceremony.
With the REAP team describing the first term as a big success, they are hoping to continue the project in the coming years.