JIS Donates Books to Inner-City Primary Schools and State-Run Homes

Photo: JIS Photographer Grade 4 students of Chetolah Park Primary School (from left), Jamelia-Lyn Gregory, Eve Philburn and Patrice Forrester are intrigued as they read ‘Jamaican Folk Customs & Beliefs’, a publication recently presented to them, along with seven other books and heritage posters, by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

Story Highlights

  • Students of two inner-city primary schools and children of eight State-run homes are benefiting from a large collection of heritage publications donated to their libraries by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).
  • Additionally, 67 students at the Grade 4 level attending the two schools have received individual reading materials.
  • Manager of the Research and Publications Department at the JIS, Celia Lindsay, said the donation of the books is in keeping with agency’s plan to increase the literacy levels of young people and to help in increasing their national pride.

Students of two inner-city primary schools and children of eight State-run homes are benefiting from a large collection of heritage publications donated to their libraries by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

Additionally, 67 students at the Grade 4 level attending the two schools have received individual reading materials.

The books, a gift from the Research and Publications Department of the JIS, were handed over to the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the St. Alban and Chetolah Park Primary Schools on December 11,  at presentation ceremonies, held at the schools and at the CDA’s head office in Kingston.

Among the books donated were:  A Different Hurricane and Other Jamaican Stories; Wheel an’ Tun: Introduction to Jamaican Dance; Jamaican Folk Customs and Beliefs; Rhythms: Jamaica’s Heritage in Music and Dance; A Fi Wi Heritage: Find It, Read It, Learn It; ‘Manuel Road; Maroons of Jamaica: A Glance at Their History; and Let’s Get to Know Some Jamaican Plants.

Posters included copies of National Heroes, National Symbols, Prime Ministers of Jamaica, Governors-General of Jamaica, Marcus Garvey: Self-Reliance, Marcus Garvey: African Redemption, Marcus Garvey: Self Awareness and Assertiveness.

Director of Children and Family Programmes, CDA, Audrey Budhi, who accepted the books on behalf of the children’s homes, said they will enhance the literacy programmes of the institutions.

“We are very happy to have received the books. We realise that reading and understanding are very important and so we are grateful for these wonderful heritage gifts,” she told JIS News.

She said that the books will ensure a more ‘standardized’ literacy programme in the homes, noting that although the programmes are the same, “some of the institutions are more advanced.”

Mrs. Budhi  added that the books will also support a special programme by the CDA for those children who are now studying for the CSEC examinations.

Principal of St. Alban’s Primary School, Marjorie Hudson, was also happy to receive the collection of books.

“These books will go well with our focus on encouraging students in their cultural heritage and expressions,”  she said.

She cited  the ‘drop everything and read’ and the ‘early bird’ reading programmes  introduced at the school to encourage students to read, so as to improve the  literacy level at the school.

“I must say it has borne some fruits, because this year our literacy rate is about 75 per cent, while last year it was 58 per cent. We have increased the level and we are very proud of that and we know that these books will help because the more materials that are available, the better it will be for them,” she said.

Principal of Chetolah Park Primary, Robert Smith, expressed  appreciation for the books, noting that  they will be a useful addition to the school’s offering.

Manager of the Research and Publications Department at the JIS, Celia Lindsay, said the donation of the books is in keeping with agency’s plan to increase the literacy levels of young people and to help in increasing their national pride.

She said the initiative will also encourage children to spend more time reading and to increase their knowledge of Jamaica’s heritage.

“The books will support the reading programme at the institutions and the heritage posters are memorable,” Miss Lindsay  noted,  adding that the children will enjoy reading the materials since they are interactive and will make reading fun.

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