WESTMORELAND, JAMAICA (August 2021): As activities abound for the summer, the Whitehouse Branch Library in Whitehouse, Westmoreland played its part to engage youngsters from Whitehouse and surrounding communities through another one of its specialized programs and it garnered support for this from Sandals South Coast and the Sandals Foundation.
The summer program, which took place recently, was under the theme “Stay connected and Read” but also focused heavily on engaging youngsters both virtually and in-person and encouraging creativity through art and craft.
“The Library caters to a wide variety of persons from students at all levels to those who have already matriculated, but sometimes there is a perception that the library is only for renting books and research, there is so much more that we have to offer,” says Senior Library Assistant at the Whitehouse Branch Library, Arlene Lawrence.
Lawrence explained that throughout the year, the Library offers a number of different programs at both the Branch and Parish level. “We have Story Hour, a Home Work Assistance programme, a programme called ‘Likkle but we Tallawah and of course our National Reading Competition which runs through both the Branch and Parish levels.” These programmes, Lawrence noted, are a way of sensitizing people about the offerings of the Library while encouraging collaboration and a passion for continued learning.
“Within rural communities like Whitehouse, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for youth engagement outside of the school system, said Lawrence, so the kids really look forward to the Library programs especially during the summer.”
Lawrence also had nothing but high praises for her sponsors within the community of Whitehouse; Seaview Pastries, Consumer Supermarket and especially Sandals South Coast. “Sandals South Coast and the Sandals Foundation have been a great help in providing the needed supplies for our sessions on different occasions and when we call on them they never hesitate to assist,” says Lawrence.
“For the past 73 years, the Jamaica Library Service has continued to play a role in nation-building, keeping citizens of all age groups informed, supporting the education system and providing opportunities for personal development,” says Rochelle Forbes, Public Relations Manager at Sandals South Coast, it would be remiss of us to not support their efforts, especially recognizing their far- reaching impact.”
Sandals South Coast and the Sandals Foundation have been longstanding partners of the Jamaica Library Service donating thousands of books over the years and sponsoring various competitions including the History Challenge Quiz for the parish library and E.C.I Quiz for Grange Hill Branch Library.