First Look

Creating Better Parents, Twenty-one Boy’s Town parents graduate from skills training programme

Breakthrough Communications | 2016-10-07 00:00:00

The parents are the first cohort in the Parents’ Education, Fitness and Nutrition Club of the school, which began in November 2015.

The graduates — Dianna Johnson, Cipton Wilson, Rashell Walker, Markadia Ffrench, Curtis McDonald, Nadine Guy, Keisha Wellesley, Keeno Salmon, Kimona Brown-Atland, Anita Palmer-Ferron, Donnette Duncan, Shelly-ann Facey, Patrina Williams, Geshawn Whitelock, Kerine Sewell, Lennox Thomas, Christopher Garnett, Romario Weir, Andrea Cole, Traneil East, Hermine Smith, Toni Thomas — all received certificates and were praised for their hard work and participation in the programme.

The males were especially acknowledged by Assistant CEO of Boy’s Town, Ricardo McGeachy, who applauded their commitment to being better men.

“I understand and know as a man that it is not easy to take that step without the criticism of friends. Not all of you are fathers, but you made this step and for that I applaud you,” McGeachy said to the graduates their families and supporters.

One male graduate, Curtis McDonald, shared his experience with the Parents’ programme. Even though McDonald is not a father and does not have a child attending the school, he expressed that he took the programme as an opportunity to better himself and others around him.

“The programme meant a lot to me. We shared mutual respect for each other as we learned and grew together we felt just like a family,” said McDonald. “I attended the math and English classes and benefited a lot from it. I encourage anyone interested to join the programme, from this or any other community to come along. You can’t lose anything from joining, all you can do is gain.”

All in attendance celebrated the graduates’ achievements in literacy and numeracy as well as career and parental skills training facilitated by Boy’s Town Infant and Primary School guidance counsellor Dr Christine Stennett.

“I have a vision of what I want Boy’s Town to be,” said Dr Stennett at the graduation ceremony held at the Hugh Sherlock Hall in Trench Town, Kingston. “I want it to be the school of choice. And we cannot effectively reach the children without reaching the parents.”

The Parents’ Education, Fitness and Nutrition Club’s programme began after Dr. Stennett saw the need to reach out to parents in the community. It provided parents with nutrition advice and fitness assistance along with career skills and a 12-weeks parental skills training from WPP. The Parents’ Club, according to Dr Stennett, is a proven success, as these graduates have already shown they are better equipped and willing to be active parents.

Along with opening remarks from Dr Stennett, guest speaker Social Worker and Principal of Riverton Early Childhood Centre, Junior Rowe addressed the graduates urging them to continue their journey even though the programme has ended.

“Whatever stage you are, I want to encourage you that the journey still continues,” said Rowe, who is also the administrator and supervisor for St. Patrick's Foundation. “The programme is a symbol of hope, possibility and prosperity. It is a way out of poverty so I encourage you to sow into it and reap the benefits.”

About C.B. Facey Foundation at Boys’ Town
Boys’ Town Infant and Primary School, situated in the Trench Town community of Kingston, is the focus of C.B. Facey Foundation’s model school programme. The vision is to transform the quality of education at Boys’ Town Infant and Primary School and highlight the work as a model school for public and private partnerships within the Jamaican education system.

For more information of the work of the Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation visit


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