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Literacy summer camp in St Thomas set to 'save lives'

Published:Saturday | July 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Mrs Ena Wong Sam speaking with participants at the Chocolisto Literacy Summer Camp on Monday. - Photo by Jolyn Bryan
One of the campers proudly displays her Chocolisto shirt. - Photo by Jolyn Bryan

Jolyn Bryan, Gleaner Writer

Forty-five students from three primary schools in St Thomas are set to participate in the Chocolisto Literacy Summer Camp in July.

The camp is an initiative of the Ministry of Education and is sponsored by Ena Wong Sam Limited. It is targeting students with the greatest need, those who are on the cusp of literacy, as revealed by the Grade Four Literacy Test, to provide them with the additional support and resources needed for them to be deemed literate.

The literacy camp, under the motto 'Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader', will run from July 7-31, from Monday to Thursday each week, at the Grants Pen Primary School in Albion.

Fifteen students from the Bull Bay Primary, John's Town Primary, and Grants Pen Primary Schools are expected to participate in activities that are geared at getting them interested in and excited about reading. Students will be assessed by the ministry before and after the camp to gauge the success of the programme, as well as to reward those who have shown the most improvement, including best reader, most helpful, and most improved student.

The camp is free of cost to parents and participants, with Ena Wong Sam Limited providing transportation to and from the camp site for students from Bull Bay and Johns Town; lunch, snacks, books, and other resources; as well as lunch and remuneration for the three teachers who will be assisting the students. T-shirts by brand sponsor Chocolisto will also be provided, and the chocolate food supplement will be served with lunch as well.

Ena Wong Sam, CEO of the snack and confectioneries distributor, explained that providing sponsorship for the camp was an easy decision to make and is an extension of her efforts to provide opportunities to those who are most in need.

"My passion is education. Many of the domestic problems that we are experiencing in Jamaica are simply because people cannot reason and talk to each other and resort to violence to communicate. If we can assist them to become more involved in literacy, we can save the lives of many of these children," she said.

A closing ceremony, fun day, and luncheon will be held on July 31 to celebrate the success of the camp and to reward the students for their participation.