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Crayons do count - US Embassy supports initiative to improve early childhood education

Published:Sunday | July 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The United States Embassy in Kingston has given its support to 'Crayons Count', the initiative to distribute 2,700 kits containing learning tools to every early childhood institution across the island

The embassy joins other partners, including the Early Childhood Commission, HEART Trust/NTA, and The Gleaner, which have thrown their support behind this ambitious project, which is led by Deika Morrison, founder of Do Good Jamaica/Crayons Count.

Last Thursday marked the end of a US Embassy-supported series of three full-day workshops with teachers and practitioners from 70 of the island's 2,700 early childhood institutions.

Guided by early childhood specialist Olivia Wilmot and American psychologists Professor Sandee McClowry and Dr Mark Spellman, participants were exposed to the contents of the 'Crayons Count' kit and various creative techniques which can be employed when using the items in the kits.

According to the US Embassy, it recognised 'Crayons Count' as an opportunity to support the United States Agency for International Development's investment in primary education by contributing to the teaching methods employed at the early childhood level.

The embassy said, in seeking to improve student readiness upon entry into Grade 1, it not only facilitated these workshops, but would "contribute 70 kits with the intent that participants will further train other early childhood education teachers and practitioners within their schools and communities".

"I'm absolutely elated to have the support of the US Embassy for 'Crayons Count', and in such a unique way," said Morrison.

"It is a targeted intervention that addresses materials and instruction as we work together to achieve sustainable improvements in the early childhood sector," added Morrison.