Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
The Rotary Club of Lucea in association with United States-based Professor Randall Soffer has donated some 12 laptops to Lucea Primary School in Hanover to coincide with the start of the Easter term.
"The partnership with the professor is significant as this is in keeping with our thrust to boost education in the parish and equip students with the requisite skills needed to function in this changing world" said Lennox Anderson, president of the Rotary Club of Lucea.
The Rotary Club of Lucea's involvement in education in Hanover has been long-standing and includes the construction of the Chambers Pen Basic School and their focus on literacy in the parish.
"Technology is a huge part of our daily lives," said Anderson, in underscoring the importance of technology. "The earlier our students are exposed to the use of technology, the better it will be when they move on to the high-school level and into the world of work."
Professor Soffer from the University of St Thomas in Houston, Texas, visited the island three years ago and saw the need to outfit the schools with better technology to support the learning process. The professor is a Rotarian.
"We wanted the students to have an opportunity to achieve more through the use of technology," said Soffer. "Harvard Elementary School in Texas had some fund-raisers and the monies raised were used to purchase the laptops. These children (the Lucea students) have so much potential and we hope that the use of these laptops will improve their educational output."
According to Stephaney Reid, the acting principal at Lucea Primary, the institution was in need of these devices as the school is renewing its drive to improve literacy and learning among the children.
"It goes without saying that this donation will greatly assist us and the children to make teaching more interactive," said Reid. "This will definitely help in literacy as we can now use interactive programmes to make learning fun as it should be, and in so doing, slowly move away from the chalk-and-board method that has been used for years."
The George Harker Scholarship, which is provided by the Rotary Club, sponsors students to the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf yearly. In addition, sponsorship is provided for students to receive training abroad in the field of hospitality.
Under the Rotary International Group Study Exchange Programme, Lucea-based librarian, Kelony Noble, was able to spend a month in India, where she engaged in vocational visits to public and university libraries.