Gregory Park Primary aims for passing grade

January 25, 2016
It's Math Time with the students of Gregory Park Primary, as (from left) Samantha Chantrelle, CEO, Digicel Foundation; Evadne Cowell, Training Specialist, Digicel Foundation; Alando Terrilonge, Constituency Caretaker; Delroy Dobney, Board Vice-Chairman and Principal Richard Williams provide some encouragement.

When Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations, described literacy as a bulwark against poverty and a building block of development, he very aptly captured the value that the teachers at Gregory Park Primary School place on education.

It is their commitment to seeing students reach their full potential that led to the official opening of their very own Enrichment Centre recently.

The Digicel Foundation's partnership with the institution came on the heels of a 2013 ministerial report that showed the school performing below the national and regional targets in the Grade 4 Literacy and Numeracy Tests and the Grade Six Achievement Test.

The less-than-encouraging ranking did not deter the teaching staff; in fact, it served as motivation. Shortly after receiving the report, the administration actively sought support from the Digicel Foundation by applying for consideration under the Foundation's Enrichment Initiative.

The Enrichment Initiative is a partnership with the United States Agency for International Development and the Ministry of Education. It has seen the successful twinning of cutting-edge information communication technologies and more individualised instruction and planning for students, who have difficulties in achieving their grade level in reading, through the provision of a fully equipped Enrichment Centre supported by trained teaching staff.

"Nothing can describe the joy of watching children develop confidence in themselves, when, for the first time, they can sound their letters, write their names and fearlessly read stories out loud. These are the moments that stir us to continue innovating and finding teaching and learning solutions for our children," said Samantha Chantrelle, CEO of the Digicel Foundation.

Through the Enrichment Centres, the Digicel Foundation has been able to deliver support in the areas of literacy and numeracy to more than 50,000 students across the island.

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