Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Saturday | February 16, 2013
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Reaching out to children with special needs
Tabitha Chambers (left), principal of Edge Hill School of Special Education, accepts a cheque for $20,000 from Michelle Purchase-Giscombe of main sponsor Professional Paralegal Services. Others in photo are (from second left) Shawnay Lindo; Sonya Pyne, Miss St Ann; Janet Hardie, promoter and owner of Cabotine de Cres; and Tameka Llewellyn, teacher at Edge Hill. - Photo by Carl Gilchrist
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer


WHEN JANET Hardie (aka Diane), proprietor of Cabotine de Cres Boutique in St Ann's Bay, decided to stage the Miss St Ann Beauty Pageant last December, she immediately thought of giving back to the community.

Recently, she made good on the commitment and handed over a total of $20,000 to the Edge Hill School of Special Education in St Ann's Bay, an amount that principal Tabitha Chambers said would be used in the school's computer programme to benefit the 69 students there.

"I love kids and decided that I would choose Edge Hill School of Special Education since a child with special needs tend to cost more," Hardie said.

"We decided that part proceeds of the event would go to the school. The event wasn't as successful as we planned; it was the first time and there were challenges, but thanks be to God, we were able to raise a total of $20,000. We are grateful for the sponsors and everyone that participated and contributed."

Among the list of sponsors was Professional Paralegal Services, of St Ann's Bay, which was represented at the handover by Racine Hodges-Lindo and Michelle Purchase-Giscombe.

Chambers expressed gratitude on behalf of the students, teachers and parents.


"I would like to say thank you for this kind gesture; I am sure that this gift will go a far way in assisting the programmes at our school," she said.

"This will be used in our computer programme. Right now, we're in need of computers and some computers here need to be serviced. I am sure that this will assist and it will go a far way."

Chambers said there is need for more skills training at the special-education school, which caters to persons with special needs, aged six to 21 years of age. She identified home economics, art and craft, agriculture and home management as areas where training is needed.

"When the students reach 14, we start to focus more on skills training to get them prepared for the world of work, and to go out there in the society. So we need some more skills-training programmes to come on stream, and equipment and resources for these programmes."


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