Bath Primary and Junior High wins 2018/19 LASCO REAP competition

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Bath Primary and Junior High School in St Thomas is the winner of the 2018/19 LASCO Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) competition, taking home $100, 000 courtesy of JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation.

The announcement was made at the awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last Thursday.

The school, which copped first place for planting 5,120 trees, also won 10 desktop computers, gift baskets, medals and a trophy.

Priory Primary in St Ann, which placed second, received a smart TV and DVD player and won the LASCO iCool/iDrade recycling prize for most bottles collected, with 198, 600.

St James-based Barracks Road Primary placed third, taking home a digital projector and screen for the school.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, who delivered the keynote address at the awards ceremony, commended the schools and students for participating.

“How wonderful is it to know that with all of the challenges we face globally that we, in Jamaica, have 500,000 students doing their part to make this world a better place…you are environmental ambassadors. You make your country proud, you make your schools proud and you make your families proud,” she said.

Johnson Smith lauded the REAP team for undertaking such a “significant initiative” to stimulate environmental awareness among young people and expressed the hope that more schools across the island will get involved.

Founder and executive chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin, said the programme, which started in 2012, has grown into a “giant movement for the country”.

“In 2018, REAP collected just over a million polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for recycling, taking the total for the past seven years to 3.7 million,” he noted.

He said that institutions earned some $700,000 under the school garden component, bringing total income generated to $2.3 million to date.

In addition, REAP schools planted approximately 12,500 trees last year, taking the total number of trees to approximately 40,000 since the start of the programme.

“These are just a few of the achievements of the LASCO REAP project. They are, indeed, testament to the fact that small changes do reap big rewards,” Chin said.

The LASCO REAP initiative encourages students to participate in sustainable environmental practices such as tree planting, recycling, energy conservation, and well-kept school and community environs.

Awards are presented to schools with the highest accumulated points based on pre-set criteria.

A total of 106 projects were entered in the competition for 2018/19 period, with 20 finalists selected. There are REAP programmes in 143 schools in all parishes across Jamaica.

Other environmental champions for 2018/19 are: Highgate Primary and Junior High, and Jacks River Primary both in St Mary, which tied for first place in the Best Garden category, with Holland Primary in St Elizabeth second, and Maryland All-age in Hanover, third.

Best Poem went to Highgate Primary; Best Song was won by St Hugh’s Preparatory, St Andrew; Best Visual Art, Newstead Primary, St Mary; Best Fashion from Waste, Alderton Primary, St Ann; Best Essay, York Castle Primary, St Ann; and Best Innovation/Energy Conservation, Somerton Primary in St James.

Individual talent category winners received cash prizes of up to $15,000 and tablets, with trips for teachers to the United States and Canada as well as local resorts, and gym memberships.

Winners in the Best Garden category received $25,000 each and a water tank, courtesy of Walkerswood.






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