THE TRYALL Fund, the non-profit philanthropic arm of the Tryall Club, has given early-childhood education in the parish of Hanover a major boost with its ambitious 'Success by Six' initiative, which is aimed at bringing several schools up to par with the requirements of the Early Childhood Commission.
According to Terry McGraw, the chairman of the Tryall Fund, the initiative is not about seeking a quick-fix approach towards helping schools in the parish, but is to provide a tangible holistic effort to the benefit of students and teachers involved in the process.
"We are not trying to provide a Band-Aid approach," McGraw told The Gleaner. "Sandy Bay Basic School is the model school we have worked on and are seeking to replicate in the three other schools we have adopted in our programme."
McGraw identified the Montpelier Basic School, Chambers Pen Basic School and Hopewell Deliverance Centre Basic School as the new schools added to the initiative, which is geared towards providing additional educational, literacy and nutritional information and support to the schools.
In addition, the programme is also offering health screenings as well as focusing on teacher training and caregiver workshops at the schools.
More than 100 students between the ages of three and five are expected to benefit from the programme.
20 per cent compliant
"The goal is to bring the basic schools into compliance with the Early Childhood Commission legal standards," said McGraw. "The Sandy Bay Basic School was less than 20 per cent compliant when the Fund began its programme there just over two years ago. They are currently on track to be 100 per cent compliant by the end of this year."
The 'Success by Six' project is funded through the Taste of Tryall annual culinary event at Tryall Club, where villa chefs all come together in the name of charity to serve up delicious cuisines for attendees, who support the event. This year's event will be staged on November 23.
"The benefit of improving early childhood is crucial for Jamaica's future and we have seen that, when children are given the right tools, they really blossom," said McGraw. "A lot of support is given for students at the other levels of education in Jamaica, so we have decided to give to early childhood."