Digicel Foundation invested $1.2 million in the construction of Rio Claro Learning Development Centre for Special Children and urged the students not only to enjoy the school but also to take care of the facility.
Delivering the feature address at the official launch of the Centre on Wednesday, Foundation CEO Penny Gomez noted that her company is purported to be the corporate champion for persons with special needs.
“With a proactive principal and dedicated staff, we have been able to provide support to the school in varying areas. Three of our key programmes are the Therapy-based Education Programme, Aquaponics Programme and Preparing you as well as our inclusion activities - Carnival Kiddi Pump and our Play Unified fun day,” Gomez said.
The Centre, which has 30 students, is located at the Naparima/Mayaro Road, Rio Claro.
It houses a staff room, therapy room, an open space for the classroom three times the size of what it was, separate bathroom facilities for staff and students and a reception area. Gomez noted the Centre was one of the Foundation’s Centres of Excellence, a transformative initiative that tangibly addresses the aesthetics of special need schools, ensuring that the space is comfortable and meets international standards.
Referring to the relationship with the Centre as a ‘love affair’, Gomez added the Foundation also has a ‘huge crush’ on it proponent- Kelly Ann Langdon-Pascall. Langdon-Pascall is the founder and principal of the centre. Some other officials at the launch yesterday included: Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Minister Clarence Rambharat; Member of Parliament for Mayaro, Rushton Paray; Board President of the Centre, Keith Rodriguez; and Chairman of the Foundation, Garvin Medera.
Minister Rambharat, who delivered greetings, referred to the launch as a landmark event for the community of Rio Claro and the constituency of Mayaro. He hailed former Government Minister Harry Partap who, as a then MP “for the other side of the road”, was instrumental in getting the property for the Centre. The Minister also commended Gomez and her team at Digicel Foundation for their excellent work across the country.