The learning environment at Davis Primary School has been significantly improved due to the efforts of charity groups Food for the Poor and Eight 4 World Hope.The two charity organizations joined forces to build a new block consisting of three classrooms to improve space for students preparing for the annual Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). Additionally, the school had its computer lab renamed in honour of past principal Lorraine Spencer-Jarrett after it was retrofitted with 22 brand new desktop computers. At a recent dedication ceremony for the new buildings several stakeholders lauded the effort. “I am sure this dream had its challenges. Today is a dream that the ministry would want to laud and to applaud your dreams and efforts; and indeed today we are seeing the fruits of your labour as you mobilise partners in education to make this a reality for the nation’s children,” said Barrington Richardson from the Ministry of Education, while reserving special praise for Food for the Poor and Eight 4 World Hope. At the ceremony, attended by Mavis Wright-Harvey, who is a former principal as well and school board chairman Barbara Sayers, the dire need of the school was amplified by Principal Sharon Campbell-Danvers. According to Campbell-Danvers the 43-year-old institution, with an enrolled listing of over 700 pupils, was so cramped for space, students had to be walking underneath or on top of the desks to move about in the classroom. Furthermore, she noted, one block was divided into six classes with three to four students to a bench. The new block is the second to be built at the school by both charities. The first was built a year go to facilitate students preparing for the Grade Four National Literacy and Numeracy Exam. “The lives of the teachers were miserable. It was not an easy road,” recounted the principal. “We made a decision that we are going to put centre four (grade four) at phase one because that’s the group that do the national exam where if you don’t pass the exam you cannot do the GSAT. “Can I tell you that the attitude of those children has changed tremendously. It is like a prep school within a primary school. They are different. They walk with a different walk, they talk a different way, they have a sense of direction and purpose and I think the ambiance has contributed significantly to that,” she added. “With this new block they’re many children asking ‘Miss, is who getting it?’ But we have taken a decision that come September we are going to be putting grade six at the back (where the new block is located). I have no doubt that come the next academic year the results for the grade six national exams are going to improve; and we want to say thanks to Eight 4 World Hope and Food for the Poor for partnering and building with us.” Eight 4 World Hope founder Kevin Carges said he was deeply touched to assist the school after learning about their difficult circumstance. The challenge faced by Davis Primary isn’t new to Carges who first came to Jamaica 10 years ago courtesy of Food for the Poor before creating his own charity in 2009. Carges, a Catholic Deacon said: “I just pray to God so that He can continue to use me and use Food for the Poor and use all the students who are going to get a wonderful education and the parents who are so supportive and the teachers that are so dedicated to these children. You all inspire me to keep going on. So I feel I should be saying thank you to you because through the gift of you I continue to do God’s work.” More than 100 students will directly benefit from the expansion says Susan Moore, director of recipient services at Food for the Poor Jamaica. She commended the Carges and the Eight 4 World Hope family for their benevolence to humanity before listing a number of other projects they’ve collaborated on.