Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Barita Education Foundation presents 10 bursaries

Published:Wednesday | October 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM
From left: Barita's Peta-Rose Hall, director of BPM Financial Limited; Marie Hitchins, chief executive officer of Fabric Consultants Limited; Rita Humphries-Lewin, chairman of Barita Education Foundation, and Carlton Francis, board member of Barita Education Foundation.
Becky Stockhausen (left), executive director, American Chamber of Commerce (Jamaica); Merle Buchanan (centre), chairman of Reg Keizs; Rita Humphries-Lewin, chairman of Barita Education Foundation, at Barita Education Foundation's 10th anniversary breakfast at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel. Contributed Photos
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Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer

The Barita Education Foundation, in celebrating its 10th anniversary, presented 10 stakeholders with bursaries aimed at assisting and improving their lives.

The Barita Education Foundation (BEF) focuses on developing literacy and numeracy at the early-childhood level (three- to six-year-olds) in vulnerable communities in Kingston and St Andrew. The foundation, which was launched with five partner schools, has now grown to 31 schools, impacting the lives of 9,370 children, 1,442 parents, and 143 teachers. The BEF focuses on three main areas, training teachers, teaching children, and working with parents. The bursaries were presented to persons in three categories.

In category one, four children with special needs will be assessed at the Mico Care Centre. This evaluation will provide a guide for the teachers that will be utilised from the basic-school level to their primary education. In category two, three teachers will receive additional training in English language that will prepare them for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. This will provide a gateway for them while they pursue higher education at teachers' colleges. In category three, three parents will attend the HEART Trust/NTA to receive training and certification to improve their employability.

Lateto Wilson one of the bursary recipients and a teacher at the Mennonite Basic School on White Hall Avenue said the bursary would give her the opportunity to improve her academic qualifications.

"I am excited and overwhelmed because it is going to help me with my expenses and tuition for the entire year," Wilson said.

Chairman of the BEF, Rita Humphries-Lewin, used the occasion to reinforce the foundation's commitment to the development of the country through increasing literacy among children.

"Barita has dedicated its resources to this effort because we believe that this is the only way to effect sustainable change in our nation," she said. "By focusing on developing literacy and numeracy in three- to six-year-olds and by working with their parents and guardians to improve their parental skills and consciousness, we are creating a more literate, stable Jamaica. I have always said, 'teach a child to read and write and you open their eyes to the world'."

Humphries-Lewin said in assessing the last decade, the board took the decision to put a halt to expanding into new schools and instead revisit old schools to ensure that with all the changes being made by the education ministry and with the new curriculum, that the teachers are equipped and ready to take on the challenges.

keisha.hill@gleanerjn.com