On Friday 31 October Cockburn Gardens Primary School will have the official handover ceremony for the opening of the resource room that Digicel Foundation has refurbished. This initiative is a part of Digicel Foundation’s new drive to establish resource rooms of first class standards (Centres of Excellence) across the island in primary schools to assist in improving literacy.
According to Mrs. Bethel Y. Davis, Principal of the school, the completion of the resource room is a superb reality. The air conditioned room, decked in yellow can accommodate thirteen students at a time and has five new computers fully equipped with printers and hard drives. An interactive white board that is teacher and student friendly allows for easy presentation of data is also a part of the room’s resources. The environmentally friendly board is operated by an electronic marker that projects whatever the teacher writes and avoids the production of dust in contrast to the traditionally used chalk, which can be damaging to the sinuses.
The room also has other teaching aids, which “are more visually stimulating for the students” added Administrator of Digicel Foundation, Eleen Rankine. These include literacy and numeracy software such as, Early Success, Master Reader and Hooked on Phonics, a television and component set and a coloured laser printer. The literacy specialist will also have one laptop computer that will be networked and used to monitor her students’ progress on and off site.
Currently, Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High School like many other primary school have a significant amount of students who are reading below their grade level selected students with reading difficulties are being assessed to see if they will require the services of the resource room. “A number of students at the primary school are reading below the literacy level stipulated by the Ministry of Education and this room is expected to benefit them significantly. The children are exuberant about the room already. It is impacting everyone, even the parents”, informed Ms. Davis.
The project was started in April 2008 and cost the Foundation Two Million Dollars to fund all the activities. Students will start to benefit from the resource room as soon as the student literacy assessment is completed and a list presented with the students who are most at stake with illiteracy.