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JIS News

The library at the Seymour Almon Basic School in St. Catherine has been refurbished at a cost of approximately $250,000.
The project, which was financed by the Kiwanis Club of the First City, in collaboration with the school’s Parent Teacher’s Association and the Pentecostal Assembly Bethel Chapel, involved painting of the building, the installation of new flooring and the provision of lighting.
President of the Kiwanis Club, Enid Fraser told JIS News that most of the work was done through self-help, while the library books were donated by members of the Kiwanis Club and the school’s community.
Miss Fraser said that the library was established because it was important that children develop the habit of reading.
“Literacy is key. If we are to have a literate society, we have to begin with the children,” she said.
She said that one of the main objectives of the organization was to improve the lives of young children and as such, the Club had formed a committee called Young Children Priority Ones (YCPO), to foster the development of children in the areas of education and health and to promote “the social and emotional well being of the child”.
Additionally, she said the Kiwanis Club, in collaboration with the Venezuelan Embassy, had sponsored an introductory Spanish course in April for 35 teachers from 10 basic schools in Spanish Town and its environs.
“We had teachers from 10 basic schools in and around Spanish Town attending a 40-hour Spanish intensive workshop, so that they can come back and start teaching Spanish to the children,” she added.
Miss Fraser noted that many children in the area were not exposed to a second language until they attended a secondary school.
“We think that if they are exposed to Spanish in the basic school and have it introduced to them in the primary, then they would have a foundation, so that when they go to high school it would not be such a challenge for them to acquire the language,” she said.
In May, the Club also sponsored a spelling competition involving the 10 basic schools. The students were judged on comprehension, reading and spelling.
The Kiwanis Club of the First City has, for six years, been assisting the residents of St. Catherine, by helping to feed needy persons and sponsoring health fairs and community activities.