Digicel Foundation bolsters remedial learning programme at the Jessie Ripoll Primary School
Kingston, Jamaica – October 12, 2006
'Bringing Reading Alive in Our Community'
Students at the Jessie Ripoll Primary School on South Camp Road in Kingston are now better equipped to excel in reading and mathematics, as a result of the school’s new state-of-the-art Resource Room. The Digicel Foundation officially opened the facility on Wednesday October 11, having refurbished and equipped it at a cost of some J$2 million.
The high-tech Resource Room is a dream come true for Past Principal, Sister Shirley Chung, and is named after School Board Chairman Roy Golding. It will facilitate a unique programme for students performing below their grade level, who will be instructed by the school’s Special Education Teachers. This Resource Programme of the Special Education Service will accommodate small classes of students, eight to twelve years old, ensuring each receives the special attention to address individual literacy/learning needs.
At the handing over ceremony at the school, Major General Robert Neish, Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation, noted, "We are so proud to see this project through from vision to realization. The Digicel Foundation Board and staff find utmost fulfilment in projects like the Resource Room at Jessie Ripoll Primary, which offer sustainability to a community. And, it is heart warming to see that the school is extending assistance to a number of schools in wider communities. We hope that the Resource Room will be useful to all of you and the generation following you. Do take care of it!"
Michael O. Brown, Principal of Jessie Ripoll Primary chaired the function, while Vice Principal Marcia Detry Fogah gave the welcome. Other participants included Father Ronald Holder who blessed the building; Sister Shirley Chung; Joy Clarke, Digicel Foundation Board Director; Eleen Rankine, Administrator of the Digicel Foundation; and Sonia Williams, Territorial Education Officer – Primary – Region 1, Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture.
Sandra Maxwell-Williams, Coordinator and Teacher in the Special Education Resource Programme, explained, "These children just learn differently. They are often very bright in many areas, but have difficulties in other others. The purpose of the programme is to remediate the difficulties they have."
The Resource Programme uses various technologies to assist in the learning and teaching processes. Thanks to the Digicel Foundation the Centre now boasts software products such as Hooked on Phonics, computers and audiovisual systems, a karaoke machine, and other multimedia equipment. There is also a reading centre, play area, educational toys and games, white boards and notice boards, charts, posters, window treatments, and cupboards, all strategically designed for optimal learning in the air conditioned environment.
Other partners in the project included Islandwide Alarms, which donated and installed a security system in the room.
In an effort to share the wealth of its new resources, Jessie Ripoll Primary has invited 5 students each from three neighbouring schools to participate in the programme. They are Mountain View Primary, Clan Carthy Primary and Elleston Primary. They will be accommodated on selected afternoons each week.
During the handing over ceremony, the Jessie Ripoll Musical Ensemble presented a well-received rendition of Whitney Houston's 'One Moment in Time' complete with a reggae flavour. The school’s Dance Ensemble also thrilled the audience with two pieces of exciting choreography. Following the ribbon cutting, a commemorative plaque, and perimeter sign donated by the Foundation, were unveiled.
Digicel Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Digicel in 2004 that distributes and utilizes funds on a charitable basis, for the sole purpose of building communities and the community spirit in Jamaica.
Among projects implemented by the Foundation are: