Tavares Gardens Primary making sweet music
While International Literacy Day was recently being observed worldwide, something special unfolded at the Tavares Gardens Primary School in one of the socially/economically challenged inner-city communities of Kingston.
Senior executives from First Global Bank, a GraceKennedy subsidiary, and senior education officers from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information journeyed to the school to make a difference in the lives of the children.
First Global Bank donated several pieces of new musical instruments to the school, as part of the joint partnership between them and the ministry's Music: Perfect Pitch for a Sound Education Programme.
The instruments are to be used to aid with the teaching/learning methodology of grades three and four students under the Music Literacy programme.
With the addition of this school, there are now 14 involved in the project. Now in its fifth year, the programme has so far benefited more than 10,000 students at the primary level across Kingston, St. Andrew, St Catherine, Manchester, St James and St Ann.
"We are very proud of how the programme has grown. Extensive research has proved that there is a link between studying music and excelling in school," said Mariame McIntosh-Robinson, president and CEO at First Global Bank.
Armed with research data, McIntosh-Robinson cited that children who have been exposed to good, strong music teaching have advantages in all other areas of learning.
"First Global Bank remains a committed partner in pursuing the goal of 100 per cent literacy and numeracy in our primary schools," McIntosh-Robinson assured the gathering.
"The Music Literacy Programme continues to positively impact our students in the participating schools where there are many success stories," said Marlon Williams, senior education officer in the ministry, with responsibility for the Core-Curriculum Unit.
Williams said the ministry has realised that the students who normally stay away from school on Fridays in some project schools are turning up as a result of the initiative and its impact on students.
Meanwhile, the school's principal, Terrian Lawrence-Nisbeth, said the First Global Bank/Ministry of Education initiative would help to strengthen what the school's academic staff had envisioned and had embarked on at the commencement of the 2016/2017 academic year.
Lawrence-Nisbeth described the school as a beacon of hope in the community. There are seven teachers on staff to administer education to 206 students. "We plan to extend this programme to all students in the school, as we believe they will benefit," she said.