The Cocoland Cares Project, launched at a ceremony on April 8, 2014 at Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, is a major national initiative which involves a significant investment in early childhood education and the children of Saint Lucia.
Under the Cocoland Cares Project, 126 pre-schools across the island have each benefited from the donation of packages which will include high quality learning material designed to stimulate and support the development motto, social, literacy and language skills in our nation’s children.
Hotel owner and visionary behind Cocoland Cares, Butch Hendrickson, has expressed his determination that this investment can go some way towards ensuring that our children are better equipped to face an increasingly demanding world of work.
“It is my wish that through Cocoland Cares, Coconut Bay can impact positively on the process of early childhood education, and that the children of Saint Lucia can benefit from an early and firm grounding in terms of those critical skill that they require to make them more effective citizens by way of their contribution to national development,” he said.
Hendrickson justifies his investment on a previous cost-benefit analysis undertaken on the societal benefits of investing in early childhood education.
According to the findings of the 2006 High/Scope Perry Preschool Study undertaken by Dr. Lawrence J. Schweinhart: “Each US dollar invested in early childhood development yields a cumulative economic return to society of 17 dollars, a better return than any stock investment, with 12 dollars directly benefiting the public. Of the public return, 88 percent came from crime savings, 4 percent from education, 7 percent from increased taxes paid on higher earnings, and 1 percent from welfare savings.”
The Cocoland Cares project received an official endorsement by the education minister during the launching ceremony on April 8.
Cocoland Cares is a firm commitment by management, staff and the owner of the hotel who has determined that this project will be an annual undertaking.