On Thursday 07 May, 26 staff from Digicel participated in the READ Across Jamaica Day spearheaded by the Ministry of Education and the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA). The staff went to 6 schools where the Digicel Foundation built Enrichment Centres. Administrator of the Digicel Foundation, Eleen Rankine, noted that the aim of Digicel’s staff participation is to engage the entire Jamaican community in the development of literacy across the island and by participating this should send a message to have other community members involved.
The volunteers, all staff members from Digicel, willingly gave up their work hours so that they could go to Jessie Ripoll Primary, Melrose Primary and Junior High, Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High, Franklyn Town Primary, Waterford Primary and Spanish Town Primary to participate in the day’s activities.
“I firmly believe that the challenge that we face with illiteracy in Jamaica is everybody’s business and therefore the problem should be attacked as a community – I am happy that we participated today, we actually put a lot of smiles on students faces,” expressed Quality Assurance Agent at Digicel, Jodion Henry.
The activities of the day involved the Digicel staff taking over from the respective grade school teachers for four hours and leading the classes in story telling, reading and empowerment through messages that is geared at building positive feelings in the youths.
Meanwhile, one of the beneficiary teachers of the Programme, Mrs. Sandra Maxwell-Williams, Special Education Teacher at the Jessie Ripoll Primary School expressed joy in the volunteer’s participation in the day’s activities. “I am pleased to see that a private organization has allowed its staff the day off to come and share in today’s activities – it emphasizes the need to have more community members involved in the educational advancement of our youths,” further added Williams.
Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation, Major General Robert Neish noted that Foundation shares the same vision like the Ministry of Education to have at least 85% literacy by 2015 and will do whatever it can to see the realization of this end.