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January 14, 2013
Star News


50 schools to receive Mobile Enrichment Carts from Digicel

With the start of the new school year, 50 schools islandwide will receive Mobile Enrichment Carts from the Digicel Foundation, to the tune of $25 million.

The carts are equipped with a laptop loaded with literacy and numeracy software including Hooked on Phonics, Phonics Pad and Early Success among other programmes. This equipment assists teachers with academic intervention for students in grades one to three who are underperforming in literacy.

In an attempt to identify 50 deserving schools, the foundation launched its 'Nominate 2 Educate' campaign in July 2012 in celebration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence. The public was called upon to nominate schools in need of assistance through the Digicel Foundation Facebook page. By the end of the nomination period in August 2012, over 250 nominations had been received.

The Mobile Enrichment Carts are part of the Digicel Foundation Enrichment Initiative, a joint programme of the Digicel Foundation and the Ministry of Education. Launched in 2009, the enrichment initiative aims to increase literacy and numeracy at the primary level, with the goal of helping the government meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of achieving 100 per cent literacy by 2015. The additional 50 schools receiving Mobile Enrichment Carts this year will bring the total number of schools benefiting from the initiative to over 100.

Grade Four Literacy Test

Schools with a population of under 300 students which had achieved less than 50 per cent mastery on the Grade Four Literacy Test over the past two years were eligible for nomination for an Enrichment Cart.

In addition to a laptop loaded with literacy and numeracy software, the carts are equipped with a multimedia projector, copier/scanner, laser printer, audio speakers and a reversible whiteboard. Carts typically include Internet access courtesy of Digicel's 4G broadband for the first year.

"As a nation we have celebrated not only 50 years of independence, but 50 years of achievement in sports, education and the arts," noted Samantha Chantrelle, executive director of the Digicel Foundation.

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