National Baking Co Ltd & Crayons Count Shine – $50 Million and New Learning Lorry

Deika Morris (left), Education Minister Ronald Thwaites (third left) and director of operations at National, Steven Sykes, Continental Baking Company (National) ‘Butch’ Hendrickson (right).

Crayons Count has been bubbling with excitement and now is the time to share it with the world.

The Continental Baking Company has once again renewed its promise to be an advocate in the early childhood cause by donating $50 million dollars to Crayons Count at an amazing press conference on the grounds of Hope Zoo on April 18, 2013. The theme was ‘At the Zoo’ and the picturesque background of Hope Zoo provided the best learning experience. With ducks and peacocks strutting around the lawns, the press conference was truly magical.

The $50 million dollars donated by National Baking Co Ltd was also magical and will go a long way in buying the much needed tools and resources for our nation’s children. The cheque was presented to our very own, Deika Morrison in the presence of close to a hundred guests.

National Bakery has provided $30 million worth of support last year, see $30 Million Makes Crayons Count and this year is no different. In fact, it is even better.

Did you think that was all?

National Baking Co Ltd also donated a brand new truck now famously titled the ‘Learning Lorry’. The Learning Lorry was revealed after speeches and presentations from Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, Deika Morrison and the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites at the event.

Our amazing new learning lorry

The need for more funding and awareness for early childhood education was the theme of the event. Deika Morrison emphasized the importance of investing in children now for greater rewards for Jamaica in the future; Minister Thwaites highlighted the obvious need to provide more government support and funding to the early childhood sector and Mr. Hendrickson spoke about the preparing this generation of young minds for a better quality of life. The US ambassador to Jamaica, Mrs. Pamela Bridgewater was in attendance and had high praises for the project.

The lorry was blessed by Monsignor Gregory Ramkisoon and it was time to celebrate with the cutting of the ribbon. Both Mr. Hendrickson and Minister Thwaites were on-hand to witness the start of a remarkable journey with the lorry and Crayons Count.

The lorry is outfitted with Crayons Count boxes of crayonslacing tools, trunks filled with pegs and wooden blocks, colored blocks, boxes of puzzles, play-doh, a mini-librabry filled with books, paint sets and paint brushes, balls, shape-sorters, puppetsbean bags, and even dry erase boards.

Our learning tools

 With a learning resource centre for teachers and even a bathroom, the Learning Lorry is already a sight to behold.  Four bright young minds entered the truck and were immediately excited by all the tools at their disposal.  There was a puppet show in the corner, a quiet reading session, a lacing tool race and peg boards all around. Minister Thwaites even got a little scared when he came face to face with a bold little puppet in the shape of a lion but the roaring subsided and the Minister was safe.

Education on the Move


An overwhelming donation to such a worthy cause is not new for National Bakery Co Ltd who has repeatedly been a strong supporter of children and learning. The Crayons Count Saturday Gleaner Page that appears every single Saturday since February 2012 is due in part to the partnership between The Gleaner and National Baking Co. with content provided by JackmandoraNational Bakery Co Ltd also proudly displays the Crayons Count logo on its trailers, trucks and branded bread bag; a novel idea by Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson.

The time, energy and resources provided by National Baking Co Ltd have been astounding. From donations to the use of its facilitates, equipment, staff and vehicles and drivers to sort, assemble, pack AND  distribute the learning tools in 2012, National Baking Co Ltd has been the best. Its staff members have been giving and unselfish. Such an attention to detail and zeal for corporate social responsibility will see National Baking Co Ltd being successful for years to come.

Crayons Count has major plans for the beautiful mobile unit and wants YOU to be a part of Crayons Count by spreading the message of early childhood education, donating to the cause, volunteering and making that investment.

Learning is fun! National Baking Co Ltd is on board. Education is on the move. Join us.

For more news on this event, view National Pumps $50m Worth Of Colour Into Crayons Count

To see more photos, see our Facebook page $50 Million & New Learning Lorry- National Bakery Does It Again