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Rural School Leads the Way with Healthy Meals
(Photo at left) Executive Director Heidi Clarke (left) with Principal Michelle Shah in the new kitchen. (Photo at right) Hammersmith students having a blast at the opening.

(Photo at left) Executive Director Heidi Clarke (left) with Principal Michelle Shah in the new kitchen. (Photo at right) Hammersmith students having a blast at the opening.

Sandals Foundation Builds Kitchen for Hammersmith
Falmouth, Trelawny, August 22, 2017; Come the start of the new school term, students at Hammersmith Preparatory School in rural Trelawny will benefit from healthy home-cooked meals while at school thanks to the donation of a new kitchen by the Sandals Foundation. “We are really happy to provide an extensive upgrade to the kitchen here at Hammersmith,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, at the handing over ceremony on August 22. “Recognizing the passion of the entire school family to work together to create a centre of excellence, we gladly offered our assistance to make sure their kitchen met MOE/ECC standards so that it can continue to provide the 170 students with healthy meals, and in turn, form positive lifelong habits.”

Located in Hammersmith and serving students from Bounty Hall, Wakefield, Bunkershill, Deeside and beyond, the school is different from many local schools in that it does not operate a tuck shop, children are not allowed to bring food or drinks to school and neither are vendors permitted on the school grounds. Instead, the school is committed to providing the students with a healthy breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack along with hot beverages, fruit juices and water from its kitchen each day.

The school’s menu features items grown on the school property by the Farming Club and ensures environmentally-friendly practices such as composting and utilizing reusable plates, cups and utensils. As an added benefit, table etiquette is included with all teachers and staff sharing a meal with the students daily and spending quality time to teach and enforce the best table manners. These initiatives are all part of the school’s unique student success system, the MAS Programme, which is an approach to curriculum delivery using various channels including its resource rich base, project-based activities and personalized learning plans in an environment that promotes learning, playing and exploring.

Proud Principal and Founder of the school, Michel Shah, commented, “Our ability to continue providing healthy meals for our students positions us to be better able to provide a quality environment which equates to effective preventative health care, and so we are very grateful to the Sandals Foundation for making this project possible.”

Shah added, “With this new kitchen, we can continue to develop our health-based curriculum both in theory and practice. Students will develop good habits which translate into healthier choices in adult life including more fruits and vegetables and less foods with high sugar content and allergens. In addition, students will have a wider range of foods to choose from which they may not have been exposed to at home.”

This donation by the Sandals Foundation is part of the Foundation’s longstanding focus on improving education in Jamaica and across the Caribbean islands in which Sandals operates through school upgrades, teacher training, enrichment programmes, book and school supply distribution as well as secondary and tertiary scholarship opportunities. To date, over 300 schools and 129,000 students in the region have been impacted by initiatives supported by the Sandals Foundation.