Hatfield Early Childhood Institution
Children Live What They Learn
The Hatfield ECI situation was founded on the grounds of giving a solid foundation in education for young children. Their were some individuals that were present from conception and brought the school to where it is today.
Miss Sheila Smith
Miss Sheila Smith, the founder of the school with a few children around the area, was born in Emerville in Smithfield, in the parish of Westmoreland. Aunt Sheil as she was affectionately called, saw the growth and potential of the children and sought to continue with her passion by seeking a more appropriate place and ideal location for her students. She was given the opportunity to use the church hall at the Holiness Church in Hatfield where she was a member, but after a while she had to seek other accommodation. Aunt Sheil was relocated to the Hatfield Community Centre. She spent over 36 years as a teacher and the principal of the school before going on retirement. She was also a shop keeper as she love to keep herself occupied even after retirement.
Mr. Ronald Thompson
Mr. Thompson was born in 1947 and was one of the founding fathers of the institution. He was born in the parish of Westmoreland and a lover of the sport cricket. He went through the Jamaican education system and whilst being involved with the Jamaican Cricket Board, developed the idea of starting a school in his community by himself to the little basic school in the community. It was a difficult task to accomplish, but he grabbed the baton and ventured into unchartered waters. Mr. Thompson or Uncle Bregge as he is popularly known, started seeking local individuals for assistance in making his dream come true. Over the years, the institution has grown to the point where it now hosts 90 children. Uncle Bregge sought help from foundations such as CHASE, a US volunteer group and local businesses. With his dedication, the school was able to be moved from the community centre and into their own building.
Unfortunately in 2009, Mr. Thompson passed away after a very short illness. This tragic incident hurt the community dearly. He was loved by all the children and missed by many. He is survived by his children and wife, Mrs. P. Thompson. Uncle Bregge believed that children should be given the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability and that adults should be supportive of their little ones.