Education is central to the international community service of Reggae Runnerz. To this end, we have adopted Green Island School located in Green Island, right outside of Negril.
Green Island School is one of the few schools still remaining on the “shift system” in Jamaica. This means that part of the student body attends school in the morning (first shift), the other half of the student body attends in the afternoon (second shift). Dr. Addie Ellis, Education Advocate for Reggae Runnerz, interviewed several students regarding their view of the shift system as well as their feelings about education, the needs of Green Island School, and their hopes for the future. Scholar athlete Vanesha Pusey, student at Green Island stated, “When I want to finish school I want to continue with my athletics and then become a nurse. The shift system takes away from our education. The thing we need most is to end the shift system because students need more hours in school.”
The Reggae Runnerz education leadership team enjoyed their visit to Green Island. Dr. Ellis said, “As a researcher on issues of homelessness and poverty, the challenges that the school face appear overwhelming. The commitment of the teachers to provide a quality education is to be commended. When I met the students at Green Island the word that came to mind was determined. I look forward to continuing to contribute with both time and finances to these phenomenal students!”
Green Island School students excel both academically and athletically. As a rural school they have a high quality agricultural program that provides options for students to develop their skills for post-secondary employment options. The school needs additional classrooms to accommodate its ever-increasing student body. In addition, they require funding to upgrade technology, athletic fields, and for security.