The John Rollins Success Primary and the Bickersteth Infant and Primary schools, both in St James, have been selected to benefit from Phase Two of the ambitious Music - Perfect Pitch for A Sound Education project for the year 2013-2014.
The two schools were listed among nine schools - four of which are new additions from the parishes of St James, Manchester, and Kingston - which were announced as the 2013-14 recipients.
The project is aimed at aiding students, primarily at the grade three level, to better develop their literacy and numeracy skills through the infusion of music.
"This innovative project came about as we are aware that the literacy and numeracy levels of our students are not where they should be, and First Global wants to address this," said Courtney Campbell, CEO of GraceKennedy Financial Group. "We are very committed to education development."
John Rollins Success and Bickersteth Primary, along with McIntosh Memorial Primary in Mandeville and Duhaney Park Primary and Seaward Primary, schools in Kingston, all dem-onstrated exemplary per-formances in the first phase of the project, which spanned October 2011 to October 2012. It was on that basis that they were selected for Phase Two.
"Not only did we achieve the results we were hoping for in 2011-2012, but our expectations were surpassed," said Campbell. "At the end of 2012, 90 per cent of the students in five of the six original schools had seen a marked improvement in their literacy and numeracy skills."
Helping at-risk students
Yvonne Miller-Wisdom, principal of the John Rollins Success Primary School, said the school's board, staff, parents, students, and the community welcomed the initiative of the ministry, FGFS, and FGB in giving their at-risk grade three students the opportunity to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.
"We are very pleased with the success of the pilot programme, and we are really looking forward to its successful continuation," said FGB president Maureen Hayden-Cater. "Having reaped huge success among hundreds of students, teachers had repeatedly echoed their call for the programme to continue. "
In 2011, FGB and FGFS invested over $1 million to equip the schools with musical instruments. The 2013 segment is expected to cost the entity over $3 million on account of the addition of the new schools.
The new schools are Tarrant Primary and Pembroke Hall Primary in Kingston; Villa Road Primary and the Mandeville Primary and Junior High in Manchester.