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Crayons Count gets back to basics

Published:Saturday | December 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites (second left) talks with Deika Morrison (right), Steven Sykes (left), director of operations, and Dr Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Occasion was the handover of a box of Crayons Count material to the minister on Thursday. -Ian Allen/Photographer

HAVING COMPLETED the distribution of a standard set of learning tools to close to 2,400 basic and infant schools across Jamaica, the Crayons Count initiative is revisiting the institutions to interact with the students and staff as they integrate the materials in their daily lessons.

The group visited Mona Common Basic School in St Andrew yesterday, where head of the programme, Deika Morrison, said the students were making good use of the materials they got.

"We are really trying to get some feedback on the materials and to know if there are anything that they wanted more of, also just to watch children interacting with the items because we want to get a feeling of whether we should buy more of the things," she explained to The Gleaner yesterday.

Morrison, who was excited about the visit to the school, said she was particularly touched by the reception of the principal, teachers and students.

"The visit was fantastic. To me there were two very striking things - the reception of the principal and the teachers, they were very excited about the materials, and also to watch the children, they are so receptive and they learn very quickly," she said.

She is confident that the work Crayons Count has been doing with the schools is reaping much success, and so she is hoping to start a new phase of the programme soon.

Morrison's objective is to continue to help the nation's children improve their education standards.

Mona Common Basic is the second school Crayons Count has revisited. The first was Burke Basic off Swallowfield Road.

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.