New laptops for Mandeville Primary, Junior High students
As a group of students at the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School in Manchester huddled inside the information technology lab for their reading session, their faces were a picture of relaxation and contentment.
It wasn't the usual rush to secure a computer on a first come, first served basis, commonly experienced across hundreds of schools islandwide. Each child had a laptop at his/her convenience, a change made possible through the innovation of the First Global Bank's (FGB) Master Mind Quiz Competition, which saw the school taking home the first prize of $500,000 which was used to purchase 10 additional laptops.
"This further cements our continued relationship with the school," said FGB's Kerrene Grant. "The students are very enthused. We have been working closely with the community in getting the students inclined with e-learning."
Blossom Thomas, acting vice-principal at the school, was very grateful to FGB for the initiative.
"Students can access the Internet at their fingertips," she said. "They are excited to come to classes, and they are learning. They use the laptops for reading, mathematics and other activities. Teachers are also very enthused at the students' response." Thomas is inviting other corporate companies to follow FGB's example, as the children are benefiting tremendously.
And reading teacher Marline Lennox-Lyn revealed that many students were reading below the grade level, so with the introduction of the Carib E-Learning project, an initiative out of Australia where students use computers to enhance their reading ability, improvements were realised. Lennox-Lyn also believes that the FGB's $500,000 donation which bought the laptops was appropriate.
"We would like the bank to continue contributing to children's educational development," said Lennox-Lyn.