Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bob Marley Foundation Contributes to Literacy

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Bob Marley Foundation, when the new school term begins in September, at least one school will have some well needed reading tools. Continuing on its mission to help develop the education system, the foundation recently made a donation of 100 books to the Victory Basic School in Trench Town, St Andrew. With a value of over $30,000 the books are designed to reflect the Caribbean experience helping the toddlers in critical areas of their reading development. These books incorporate important words that toddlers must learn in their quest for literacy and assist with key pronunciations as well.

Although the donation was made earlier this month, the recipients are still beaming with excitement about the gifts. “These are very good books,” declares Miss Black, Administrator at Victory Basic School. “I read them already and they’re perfect for what we’re doing, they will be well used here.”

According to Mrs. Jackie Lynch Stewart, General Manager of the Bob Marley Foundation, the books have features that should accelerate the literacy process, and should make learning more meaningful. “It’s a library of Caribbean books which are geared for early childhood, to be used to enhance their reading skills,” explains Mrs. Stewart.

She notes that Victory Basic School and the foundation share a special relationship, hence the reason for the donation. “We’ve always been doing things for the Victory Basic School. I visited the school and saw that it was one of the few independent schools in the area. They struggled with some things, so I took a special interest in them and literacy.” Mrs. Stewart believes this is a small yet meaningful way to contribute to nation building. “We took the books there and one day later they were reading. It encourages the children. I believe we should start with the young ones if we want to change the society…if people are literate and numerate the world opens up to them.”

In addition to this donation, the foundation plans to assist two teachers from the school to improve their skills in teaching literacy. The Foundation has paid for them to attend special reading workshops, the skills from which are expected to assist in improving the literacy level at the school.

This is good news for the Victory Basic, as it strives to lift its head in the inner-city community. Administrator Miss Black says they have big plans for the books and the teaching expertise that will be in Victory Basic School this upcoming school year.

But the work of the foundation will not stop there. Plans are in place to offer assistance to develop the educational system in St. Ann as well, the parish that gave birth to the legend whose name the foundation boasts, Bob Marley.

This time it is the Stephney Primary and Junior High School which will receive a similar donation. Stephney Primary is the former primary school of the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley. The Foundation has already sourced the books, and the details are being worked out. “We are waiting on the teachers to select the teachers to select the books suitable for them,” explains Mrs. Stewart. “They have a budget to use, and they are now working on the details with the publishers. As soon as they finish this, the books will be there for school next term.”

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