Mon | Apr 23, 2018

Kiwanians help to improve literacy at Norman Gardens

Published:Friday | March 31, 2017 | 12:00 AM
From left Natasha Hamilton-Walters, her daughter Oxana Walters of Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High School, and Dwayne Bailey, president of Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals Kingston, Jamaica, share a quick photo op at the recent parents’ forum organized by the club as part of its Bring Up Grades (BUG) programme. The involvement of the Kiwanians through its BUG programme has positively improved the academic performance of the students at Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High.

Lexford Johnson, principal of Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High School, has lauded the efforts of the Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals Kingston, Jamaica (KYPKJ) for its continued dedication which has played a significant part in improving the literacy level of students at the school.

While addressing the inaugural parents' forum, organised by KYPKJ at the school, Johnson indicated that since 2013, the school's reading level has moved from 54 per cent to 70 per cent, with the target for this year being 82 per cent.

Johnson added that the Kiwanis Club has played a pivotal role in lifting the standards at the institution. He also encouraged the more than 20 parents at the forum to recognise the assistance being given by the Kiwanians and encouraged them to do their part.

"When you have support initiatives like this, it must be reflected in your presence and response to events like these," Johnson said.


Bug programme


The Kiwanians' involvement with Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High School began in 2013, and pre-dates the club's official induction in 2015. The forum was conceptualised by the KYPKJ as part of its Bring up Grade (BUG) programme, which is focused on improving the academic performance of a select group of students who were performing below their grade level. It also promotes leadership, social development and civic pride.

As further evidence of the club's impact, approximately 87 per cent of the students attending the weekly BUG programme sessions have attained mastery of the Grade Four Literacy Test, with 20 students achieving mastery in 2015, while a further five attained mastery in this examination in 2016. The programme currently caters to approximately 50 students.

The inaugural parents' forum, which was held under the theme 'Boosting Parental Involvement in Student Learning', forms part of efforts to increase parental involvement in the learning and development process.

Dwayne Bailey, president of the KYPKJ, encouraged parents to continue learning strategies to improve their parenting. "No one size fits all modes in parenting, so there is always more we can learn," Bailey said.