THE CRAYONS Count initiative is making good on its promise to supply a standard set of learning tools to all basic and infant schools across Jamaica that have applied for registration with the Early Childhood Commission.
Approximately 2,500 schools are set to receive these kits, free of cost in the next few weeks.
The first delivery was made to West Indies Basic School on Camp Road in Kingston last week.
"It [the educational kits] means a lot. It will enhance the development of the children morally, spiritually and physically. The toys will help with dexterity, creativity and fine motor skills," said Monica Glashin, principal of West Indies Basic School.
The delivery trucks are now on the road destined for other schools in Kingston and St Andrew.
According to Do Good Jamaica, school administrators need not be concerned about the exact date of the delivery as schools will be contacted prior to the delivery date to ensure that they can be on hand to accept the kits when the trucks arrive.
Due to the large number of schools involved, it is expected that it will take some five to six weeks to complete all deliveries across the island.
Private sector support
Deika Morrison of Do Good Jamaica, a charitable NGO, started Crayons Count late 2011 when she realised that early childhood institutions were working without basic educational tools. The plight of these early childhood schools was taken to Butch Hendrickson, chief executive officer of National Baking Company Limited, who quickly embraced the programme and was integral in making the Crayons Count project a reality. The Gleaner Company has also been instrumental in helping the programme achieve its goals. This initiative was supported by the private sector and the Jamaican diaspora, among them Sandals Foundation, Digicel Jamaica Foundation, CB Foods, Rainforest Seafoods, Zoukie Trucking, American Airlines and the US Embassy who supported in either cash or kind.
While other donations fully funded the purchase of three of the 13 items for these kits, National Baking Company Limited, in playing a pivotal role as the single largest donor to the campaign, bought 10 of the 13 items in the kit in sufficient quantities for the more than 100,000 children in all these early childhood institutions across Jamaica.
This purchase by National has allowed for all basic schools to have standardised materials for the first time ever in history.