East Street Junior Centre

The East Street Junior Centre began operations in 1940, as a place for young Jamaicans ages 6-18 years of age to be exposed to the visual and performing arts.

The Junior Centre at East Street is recorded in history as the first and only lending library for children in Jamaica. Its services were also extended to rural parishes (St. Catherine, Manchester and St. James) via a railway system. The Library also offered services to the Half Way Tree and Franklyn Town Junior Centres respectively. The activities of the Centre during its early inception included Art (Painting and Drawing), Creative Craft, Needle Craft, Wood Craft (then known as Hobby Craft), Music, Speech and Drama, Drumming, Steel band and others.

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Dance performance choreographed by Tutor Vincent Douglas

Many of these programmes still exist today as the Centre carries on the legacy of its founders by making visual and performing arts available to young children, only this time those between the ages of 6-17. Students are also exposed to Computers, Reading, Personal Development and other disciplines which help to supplement their education in the arts. Included in the East Street programmes is also the specially developed Advanced Training Opportunities Programme (ATOP) programme for adults in the arts.