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Watford Hill Primary benefits from Unconditional Love summer camp

Published:Saturday | August 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Students of the Watford Hill Primary School in Hanover were the beneficiaries of a two-week literacy summer camp which was staged by the institution in collaboration with the Georgia Perimeter College and the charitable group, Unconditional Love for Children.

According to chairman of Unconditional Love for Children, Dr Earl Glenn, Watford Hill was the perfect school to implement a camp of this nature, due to its proximity to Montego Bay.

"We have found an ideal setting, so we plan to be here the next six, seven years. We met the chairman for Hanover Charities and we immediately formed a partnership, so we are going to work with her," Dr Glenn told Western Focus.

Unconditional Love for Children was founded in 2008 by Dr Earl and Carolyn Glenn. The mission of the organisation is to provide opportunities for children from poor socio-economic backgrounds to become empowered through educational enrichment programmes, life-skills training, athletics, and access to health services.

According to lecturer, Dr Nickolette Rose of Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, the summer camp was a part of the institution's study-abroad programme. She said she was particularly willing to get involved with the programme from the outset as she is a Jamaican by birth.

"This is the third year that we are in partnership with Unconditional Love for Children, and this is the first year that we are at Watford Hill Primary School. Last year, we were at Chatsworth in Maroon Town, and Mount Zion Primary in the first year," she said.

"The students from Georgia Perimeter are here on the study-abroad programme, so in addition to doing the service learning civic engagement activity, we are taking classes. These students are registered for college classes so they are taking courses like world literature, English composition, Caribbean literature and humanities; and all of this is built into the study-abroad programme," Dr Rose said.

Student's growth

She added: "My students have loved it. They have gotten so much from this programme and I think that as students they have really grown and they have a better idea of what service is about. And I think that they formed some real connections with the children here."

Principal of the school, Jason Richardson, said he was extremely happy with the support provided to the school by both organisations.

"The programme has been very good. The Ministry of Education wanted to focus on literacy and numeracy from 2017. They have moved the literacy rate for the school for 2014 to 2017 for 100 per cent. We have been working with Unconditional Love for Children along with Georgia Perimeter College to improve the performance of the students," Richardson said.

"The students learnt a lot. They participated in writing skills, comprehension development along with reading skills. We are also doing a programme called Maths 24. The children learnt to solve math problems using their minds and they were very quick at solving the problems. This was something that we had a challenge with before. We had challenge with getting the students to think critically and the Maths 24 programme allowed them to think critically and also to use the skills that they learnt to solve everyday problems," he added.

- C. G.