JIS News

Eighteen grade-two students from schools across the island have emerged winners in the Primary Education Support Project (PESP) “LitKids” competition.
The awards ceremony was held at the Caenwood Centre Auditorium on Arnold Road today (Dec. 15). The winners who were adjudged the best for their adept literacy skills, were drawn from a total of 261 entrants. Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Senator Noel Monteith, extended congratulations to the young participants. He said he was very pleased with the literacy level reflected in the work of the students in their entries, telling them “it is encouraging to see your talent on display”. In his keynote address, Senator Monteith informed that the Jamaican government had secured a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which was used “to invest significantly” in the literacy intervention strategy targeting children in Grades One to Three.
This funding, he explained, was meant to improve the abilities of Jamaican students within those grade levels. “Our vision for having a world class learning facility cannot be a reality without standards,” the State Minister noted. He stressed that the Ministry was obligated to implementing standards at the primary school level whereby children would leave Grade Four having mastered standard literacy competencies, based on the accepted worldwide standard.
He highlighted the fact that the PESP “Lit Kids” competition was geared towards the promotion for the learning experience and heightening awareness of the literacy model being developed for children at Grades One to Three. By September 2007 the model should be implemented in all schools island wide.
Delivering the judges’ report, Literacy Materials Development Officer of the PESP, Dolsie Townsend, said the judging panel was for the most part, impressed with the quality of the entries.
“The grade two students [across the island] produced similar quality of writing in the texts they produced. The sentences produced reflected their growing awareness of the standard Jamaican English,” she observed.
The PESP Officer, noted that the accompanying artwork of the entries were also colourful and creative, and the “candidates language was largely childlike with minimal evidence of adult interference”.
The “Lit Kids” competition required Grade Two entrants to carefully examine an illustration titled, ‘When it Rains’, after which, they read what was written about the picture, and wrote a story based on their own experiences of rainy weather. The students were also required to draw and colour a picture to show what happens when it rains.
Winners were selected from the Education Ministry’s six regions across the country. In Region One, Brandon Wedderburn of Holy Childhood Preparatory was placed first while Sasha Repole of St. Hugh’s Preparatory placed second and Jumel Williams of Padmore All Age won third prize.
In Region Two, Hillside Primary student, Trevian Johnson won first place while Daniela Richards took second place, and Chevroy Lindo of Hillside primary placed third.
Region Three saw Inverness Primary and Infant School pupil, Syeda Lee finishing first, Shevaun Whitley of Runaway All Age placing second while Ashleigh Thompson came in third. In Region Four, first place went to Amalia Loney of Dumfries Primary while Cadeisha Grant of Cacoon All Age copped second place, and Mikal James of Bethel Primary and Junior High placed third.
Region Five saw Russells All Age student, Shakera Levy taking first place while Leeds All Age student, Tishan Samuels placed second and Kareena Blissett of Grove Town Primary and Amelia Levy of Harry Watch All Age tied for third place.
In Region Six, Southborough Primary student, Leon Graham was first while Danielle Campbell of Grateful Hill Primary, placed second and Leslie-Ann Briscoe of Kilsyth Primary finished third.
The national winner was Amalia Loney of Region Four while Shakera Levy of Region Five took second place and Leon Graham placed third. A total of 80 schools submitted entries to the competition.

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