KFC CONTINUES ITS INVESTMENT IN YOUTH

 

One of the main planks on which KFC Jamaica builds its corporate citizenship programme is its strong commitment to the overall development of Jamaica’s human resources – especially its youth. 

 

On Saturday, May 9, the organization provided the latest example of that commitment when KFC opened the doors to the 12th JLS/KFC Chicky Homework Centre and Reading Room – located in the Westmoreland Parish Library in Savanna-la-Mar – following a J$1 million refurbishing of the Junior Library.  Like its predecessors, the new space has been refurbished in bright colours, complete with custom seating and new carpeting, as well as inspirational messages aimed at encouraging young residents of the parish to make learning a habit. The island wide project, which is sponsored by KFC in collaboration with the Jamaica Library Service, is now in its 6th year. Eleven other homework centres and reading rooms have been opened in seven parishes since 2003.

 

Hundreds of children from early childhood, preparatory and primary institutions in the parish, accompanied by their teachers, were specially invited by KFC to attend the official opening of the JLS/KFC Homework Centre and Reading Room.   Mrs. Tina Myers-Matalon, Marketing Manager for KFC, said the new space which was created for the JLS/KFC Homework Centre and Reading Room was made possible by the continued favour and support that Jamaicans continue to show for KFC products.

 

She said KFC was grateful that despite the global economic challenges, the organization was still able to make this kind of contribution to the community.

 

“We are especially gratified that there are still 32 KFC restaurants in operation in 11 of Jamaica’s 14 parishes and we have been able, so far, to keep all of our restaurants open and all of our staff on board.  In fact, we were even able to employ more Jamaicans when we opened a new restaurant in St. Catherine in March this year,” she said. 

Mrs. Matalon praised the team members at the KFC Savanna-la-Mar store for their outstanding service to the community, especially during times of natural disasters.  She said that restaurant is one of the stars of the group, because it has been among the first to re-open in the aftermath of disasters to provide affected persons with hot meals that are of consistently high quality. 

 

In appealing to parents and teachers to  encourage students to care for the facilities and tools installed by KFC in the homework centre and reading room, Mrs. Myers-Matalon said this was to ensure that the space was preserved for use by others who will come after them. These facilities include a modern computer system; an audio-visual corner in response to a special request from the Library, as well as hundreds of new books which KFC has donated to the library.

 

During the opening ceremony , Mrs. Myers-Matalon also used the opportunity to formally introduce the hip, new-look Chicky – KFC’s popular mascot and invited the children to take part in a number of fun and games in Chickyland, where Chicky is the main host.

 

And in her comments at the function, Senior Director of the Jamaica Library Service, Mrs. Karen Barton, lauded KFC for its long-term commitment to the education of young Jamaicans and added her voice to the appeal for students to take care of the facilities.

 

Entertainment for the afternoon was provided by Keimar Ruddock of the Savanna-la-Mar Primary School who performed a dub poem.  He was followed by a traditional dance by the Unity Primary School and a John Canoe group from the Georges Plain Primary School.

 

MC for the ceremony was Maxine McGregor, a member of the Westmoreland Parish Library Committee, while prayer was offered by Marva Foster, Library Assistant at the Westmoreland Parish Library.  The Vote of Thanks was given by the Senior Librarian of the Westmoreland Parish Library Network , Cecil Graham