Our Projects

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Special Needs School

The Foundation’s current project is the region’s first Special Needs Inclusion Model Early Childhood School to be opened in 2016/17. Located in Westmoreland (pictured below), the Savannah-la-Mar Inclusion Infant Academy will offer developmental services to regular learners and special needs children deprived of treatment by health and education systems that are unable to offer facilities, adequately trained professional care, affordability, or simple proximity. 

This inclusion model school will be the first of its kind in Jamaica. A trained staff of teachers, caregivers, therapists and healthcare professionals not only will create the highest quality special needs school community, but will also training for teachers and parents in the western region of Jamaica to detect and work with children with developmental delays and physical disabilities.

Moreland Hill Primary and Pre-k School

In January 2013, after decades of neglect the Moreland Hill Primary School had an enrollment of just 32 students and was slated for closure by Jamaica’s Ministry of education.  In September 2013, the Foundation completed a total transformation of the Moreland Hill Primary School, alongside a dynamic new principal, welcomed 120 pre-K - 6th grade students who had previously traveled long distances in search of a better education that all children deserve.  

Tech-based Literacy Program

SuccessMaker

In 2015 the Jay Hatfield Family Foundation provided Rockhouse Foundation with the largest grant in its history to implement a computer-based literacy and numeracy program called SuccessMaker.  SuccessMaker’s implementation, and overall technical expertise has been driven and supervised by Foundation board member, Ian Coville.  Now in its second year, all students in 1 - 6th grades at the Moreland Hill and Little Bay Schools devote several hours weekly on this powerful and engaging platform improving their math and reading skills.  SuccessMaker is designed to allow each student to work at their own pace, advancing through each achievement level only when they have demonstrated proficiency and clear understanding of the underlying competencies. 

Children in Jamaica often have limited access to robust technology.  Rockhouse Foundation believes that all children deserve 21st century skills to compete in a global economy, and that reading, writing and math are foundational to becoming fulfilled, self-determing members of society.  SuccesMaker is a potent and effective platform that complements the heroic everyday work of the great teaching staff at both schools.  Many thanks to the Hatfield Family Foundation for making such a major investment in the future of Jamaica’s young people.

Bunch of Stars Pre-k School

The Foundation's 2012 project centered on Bunch of Stars Pre-K in Old Hope, Westmoreland, located approximately 15 miles east of Negril. For 20 years Bunch of Stars was a community fixture, initially located on the veranda of its founder, and then for 13 years in a small, two room rudimentary structure absent even the most basic early childhood supplies and amenities. Bunch of Stars now welcomes a burgeoning student population everyday onto a brand new compound abundant with supplies, new furniture, a vegetable garden for sustainable school nutrition, and a rejuvenated spirit.

Little Bay All Age and Pre-k School

Little Bay often feels like a forgotten community.  It remains largely unchanged from the time more than 30 years ago when Bob Marley used to journey to the small fishing village for peace and quiet and a little roast fish on the beach. The Little Bay All Age School, like the community, was full of promise but had seen better days, so its foundation to rooftop renovation and expansion in 2010 ushered in a sense of pride and possibilities that are embedded in the school community today.  Technology and teachers feed the minds, an organic garden feeds the bodies, and a revitalized facility feeds the community spirit. 

Negril Public Library

For decades, Negril’s students’ and community’s only option was a 500 square foot library with minimal resources and no technology.  In 2009, after extensive consultation and with the Jamaica Library Service and the “Friends of the Library” committee, the Rockhouse Foundation modernized and expanded the landmark structure, creating Negril’s first new civic building in more than 40 years.  Its award winning design by Kingston architects, Chris Stone and David Douglas, seamlessly blends classic Caribbean feel and colors with contemporary function and beauty.  It houses Negril’s only free access to computers and the Internet, as well as thousands more book titles than the original structure could accommodate.  Everyday, young and old alike cross its threshold in search of information, knowledge, homework help or just a good read. 

Negril All Age School

Negril's only public elementary school was originally constructed for 100 students, many of them children of fishermen and farmers whose simple lifestyle had defined the community for generations. As Negril turned the page on a new millennium in 2000 its school held nearly 500 children in over-crowded, outdated buildings with leaky roofs that suffered from years of deferred maintenance. Negril All Age School was in desperate need of assistance.

In 2004, shortly after it was established, Rockhouse Foundation launched its inaugural project, appropriately only ½ mile from the Rockhouse Hotel, whose owners had committed themselves to supporting the community more than ten years before when they purchased the property. Over the years, many Hotel staff and their children had attended Negril All Age and, while often nostalgic about their time in school, the community was unanimously enthusiastic about the Foundation’s first renovation project.  

Negril Basic and Pre-k School

Negril Basic School is the primary feeder pre-K for the Negril All Age School and is located on the same compound.  It suffered from decades of neglect and minimal funding and, not surprisingly, many of its graduates were not adequately prepared to enter their primary years confidently.

Rockhouse Foundation followed the transformation of Negril All Age with a similar makeover for its companion pre-K in 2006.  Splashed with the same bright colors and filled with new early childhood furniture and educational supplies, games and toys, Negril Basic took on the same rejuvenated spirit as the “big school”.