Students' excellence rewarded
Five students from Western Jamaica have been recognised by the Digicel Foundation for making strides in improving their reading levels. Javaede Stevens, Orlando Scarlette, Mikilah Fernandez, Hue-Mario Malcolm, and Shaday Ellis were identified under the partnership with the Ministry of Education, Digicel Foundation and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The top performers from Petersfield Primary in Westmoreland, Lucea Primary in Hanover and Wilson's Run Primary in Trelawny stepped out ahead of the more than 14,000 students enrolled in the first cohort of 32 schools from rural Jamaica. Each awardee's school fees will be covered until they complete their primary education. They also received a $50,000 educational grant and an android tablet computer.
Javaede Stevens said; "I am so happy that I can use my tablet to learn more."
Blossom Rhoden, mother of Orlando Scarlette, spoke of her joy in seeing her son receive such an accolade, especially after struggling through his early years in school. "It is so important to know what is happening with your children. Orlando loves his teacher, and she has given me so much support in helping him do better in school," Rhoden said.
In addition to the improvements they have all made in their reading levels since being enrolled in the Enrichment Programme during the last school year, the students have also shown development in other areas, including behaviour in school, manners and other subject areas outside of the programme.
"I am elated that these students are being recognised, even way up in the hills." Many of our students are from poor socioeconomic backgrounds and may not have opportunities like those being given through this award," said Kareen Malcolm from Wilson's Run Primary.
The Enrichment Programme was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to provide academic intervention for low-performing students in primary schools. It seeks to foster improved performances by diagnosing and strategically treating students' identified learning needs.