'Do Good' seeks basic learning tools
Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
CHAIRMAN of the Early Childhood Commission, professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, has said a lack of adequate resources in the education system continues to undermine efforts of educators to achieve maximum results.
"When we inspect our early-childhood institutions, we find that the teachers are very creative in what they do, but they benefit a lot in having resources for the children to use, and we have found that a lot of our institutions do not have adequate resources," she told The Gleaner on Monday.
Professor Samms-Vaughan was among persons who attended the launch of the Crayons Count programme at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston. Crayons Count is an initiative by Do Good Jamaica, which is designed to provide 2,700 institutions with basic resources to boost learning.
Deika Morrison, founder of Do Good Jamaica, said she hoped that through the Crayons Count programme, she would be able to make a difference in the lives of students in these institutions.
The programme will see Do Good Jamaica engaging in a drive to collect items such as crayons, paint sets and books. These items will be packaged and distributed to early-childhood institutions.
"The kit and its content will help children's overall development, and once you have young children's development established then we have persons going into primary and secondary schools with good, sound development that outfits them for life," Professor Samms-Vaughan said.
Morrison has urged persons to assist in the cause whether by a donation, telling persons about the programme or lending a helping hand in any way they can.
"We have kids going into primary schools who don't know how to read, and we have kids in basic schools who don't have books, we have to do it now - this is the year - to change the generation," she said.
The Gleaner Company is among corporate entities that have partnered with Do Good Jamaica on the venture.
Christopher Barnes, managing director of The Gleaner Company, said his organisation was delighted to get on board to improve early childhood education in the island.
"We have got to stop being shortsighted about what this country needs to succeed, we have to think for the long term and this is where it starts.
"So this is a no-brainer for The Gleaner Company. We are always behind anything educational, anything that encourages reading and anything that encourages learning," he said.
Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson, chairman of Continental Baking Company Limited, who pledged his company's continuous support of the programme, said it was timely, as the stage to start intervention is at the early-childhood level.
"This is designed to help the teachers teach. This is designed to stop the loss of another generation of Jamaican children and the logical place to start must be in the early-childhood stages.
"I stand here to ask you for support, but most of all I ask you to understand that it is important to spread the words. It is about our country and where we want to be in 10 years. This will show up in three years and it can only expand, and it is for us, civil society, to drive it. we can't leave it to anybody else," he added.