JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Scores of basic school children in St. James, on September 17, participated in a tree planting ceremony and day of play to mark the centennial of the birth of early childhood development pioneer, the late Dr. Dudley Ransford Brandyce (DRB) Grant.
  • The activities were held on the Catherine Hall compound of the DRB Grant Demonstration Basic School and Early Childhood Resource Centre.
  • The celebrations began with the planting of a Lignum Vitae tree, and later in the day, the preschoolers were engaged in fun-filled games and activities, including playing in a bounce house. An exhibition highlighting DRB Grant’s life and work was also mounted.

Scores of basic school children in St. James, on September 17, participated in a tree planting ceremony and day of play to mark the centennial of the birth of early childhood development pioneer, the late Dr. Dudley Ransford Brandyce (DRB) Grant.

The activities were held on the Catherine Hall compound of the DRB Grant Demonstration Basic School and Early Childhood Resource Centre.

The celebrations began with the planting of a Lignum Vitae tree, and later in the day, the preschoolers were engaged in fun-filled games and activities, including playing in a bounce house. An exhibition highlighting DRB Grant’s life and work was also mounted.

Development Officer at the Resource Centre, Patricia Walters, told JIS News that Mr. Grant, referred to as “the father of early childhood education” in Jamaica, believed that children learnt best through play.

“Mr. Grant promoted and advocated play as a means through which children learn.  He was all for learning through play and ensured that this was a major part of the activities for young children,” she noted.

 

She said “he took early childhood education from a “hit-or-miss gathering on the verandas of educational enthusiasts to a structured curriculum, geared at meeting the developmental needs of our children.”

Principal of the DRB Grant Demonstration Basic School, Heather Wiggan Vassell, said the importance of play is captured in the school’s motto: ‘My best at work and play’.

“We believe that our students learn best through play as from play there’s a lot of communication, investigating, designing and eventually, children learn to construct. Our students continue to excel in many areas such as 4-H Clubs, speech and drama, as well as in dance and in academics,” Mrs. Wiggan Vassell told JIS News.

Principal of the Howard Cooke Primary School in Montego Bay, Dave Scott, who participated in the tree-planting ceremony, hailed the late educator as a “true stalwart and a pioneer for Jamaica’s early childhood education.”

“It is always good to know that in several generations, there are stalwarts, great men and women, who have set the pace and path for future generations/leaders; DRB Grant is one such individual.  It is so appropriate that these institutions, the DRB Grant Demonstration Basic School and the DRB Grant Resource Centre, have been named in his honour, thereby allowing his legacy to live on,” Mr. Scott told JIS News.

 

He has lauded the institutions for the impact they have been having on students in Catherine and adjoining communities.

The Dudley Grant Memorial Trust (DGMT) has organised a week of activities from September 13 to 18, to celebrate the 100th anniversary and recognise Mr. Grant’s outstanding legacy.