JIS News

A literacy project, which seeks to help thousands of students to learn to read at an appropriate level, was officially launched at the Parry Town Primary School in Ocho Rios in St. Ann on Thursday (Nov. 6).
Dubbed ‘SuperKids Empowerment Project,’ the initiative is targeted at primary school students in four schools in St. Ann.
It is being carried out by non-profit group Great Shape! Inc., and involves 32 volunteers reaching out to some 5,000 students, while also providing the necessary support skills to teachers.
“Our goal is to improve literacy in four of the local schools. Our volunteers are improving literacy through reading programmes, computer skills, music, art and sports. We hope to give their teachers resources and skills so that they can continue the programme after we are gone,” said Representative of Great Shape! Inc., Lucinda Kay.
She told JIS News, that the project is being carried out with the support of the Ministry of Education and Sandals Resorts International.
“We do this because these kids are important to our future. The world is a global community and if we can raise these children up as good readers and to be interested in learning, then the world will be a better place,” she stated.
Meanwhile, National Literacy Co-ordinator in the Ministry of Education, Lauren Brent- Harris, lauded the project, stating that “it satisfies one of the objectives of the Ministry of Education, where we have been making efforts to establish partnerships with different groups, non-governmental agencies and other organisations in an effort to enhance the performance of our students as it relates to literacy.”
She said the components of the project were such that at the end of the programme, children will be well on their way to improving their literacy skills.
“I want to encourage our teachers to make good use of this opportunity,” she urged, while commending Great Shape! Inc. for the work it has been doing across Jamaica to help chart students in the right direction.
Principal at the Parry Town Primary School, Claudette Forsythe said that the school is happy for the project. “The methods that are being used are just great and the children are receiving the kind of exposure that I would have wanted them to receive all these years,” she told JIS News.
Great Shape! Inc. is a non-profit organisation that has facilitated humanitarian projects in Jamaica for some 20 years. The local and international volunteers have built roads and community centres, and sponsored students. The group conducts the annual 1,000 smiles dental project, which provides dental care and education to communities across the island.

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