Our first Pandemic Salute goes out to Mrs. Taneka McKoy-Phipps, the innovative Union Gardens Infant School teacher whose community blackboards keep students engaged.

Clearly dedicated to her calling, McKoy-Phipps meets her team of teachers daily at 6 am to write the day’s lessons on blackboards she painted in four Corporate Area communities. Children and parents jot down the schoolwork or take pictures on their mobile phones.

Now the children in these communities can stay current with their lessons without tablets, computers or internet connections. Already celebrated by many for her inventiveness, the educator says seeing children playing during what would be class time prompted her to do something. “I knew that because of COVID, we could not be with them,” McKoy-Phipps says, “and I felt sad. I hope that this can spread throughout Jamaica – like a virus, but a good one!” We do, too!

We salute you and your team Mrs. McKoy-Phipps! Sincere thanks and respect for your brilliant initiative and support for our children’s education.