Jessie Ripoll Primary opens Early Childhood Literacy Centre
Digicel Foundation hands over completed Resource Room for Grades 1 & 2
Kingston, Jamaica – 06 January 2010: “An institution of dedication and excellence”, is how Jessie Ripoll’s Vice Principal, Mrs. Marcia Detry-Fogah described the school that she has worked with since inception. Located on South Camp Road, Jessie Ripoll Primary in recent times has been making a significant stride in the education sector, consistently achieving top honours in their Grade 4 Literacy test from 2007 to 2009. Sandra Maxwell Williams, Special Educator of the 900-student population facility, “credits the Digicel Foundation-sponsored Roy Golding Resource Room for an almost perfect score in the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Test in 2009, with only two students not achieving mastery.”
On Wednesday, January 6, The Digicel Foundation handed over The Sister Paschal Enrichment Room, a second room which was specifically equipped to target students in Grades 1 and 2 exclusively. “We found that there were learning gaps in the students entering the school from the Elementary levels, therefore, when they entered Grade 1, they were not able to interface with the curriculum as prerequisite skills were missing,” commented Maxwell-Williams.
The Ministry considers Grades 1 and 2 as Early Childhood and asks that the schools to start literacy and numeracy intervention after Grade 3. However, Primary Schools in general have always seen the need for intervention at the Grade 1 and 2 levels. If these problems go unaddressed, it handicaps the child from comfortably taking advantage of the curriculum when he/she enters the higher grades, and becomes evident in the Grade 3 Assessment Exams.
The room is named for Sister Mary Paschal Figueroa RSM, the longest serving member of the Board of Governors of the Jessie Ripoll Primary School and a former chairperson of the Board of Governors. She also represents the Mercy Sisters of Jamaica, the religious order under whose charism the school falls.
Trained to be in The Sister Paschal Enrichment Room is Tina Brown. This training has equipped her to deliver on strategies that seek to identify and treat each child’s area of weakness as well as to use the various literacy and numeracy software and hardware to further engage the high achievers.
Modelled off The Enrichment Centre Initiative, the room “is tailored to meet both the needs of under-achievers, reading below their grade levels, and over-achievers, who require more educational challenges that are not presented in the normal classroom context,” commented Enrichment Initiative Coordinator, Dr. Michele Meredith-Dobbs from the Education Transformation Project in the Ministry of Education.
The room is equipped with Information Communication Technologies such as laptops, computers, literacy and numeracy software such as Hooked on Phonics, Early Success, and Master Reader, Hooked on Math, Math Manipulative Audio-Visual Headsets, TV Sets, DVD Players, among other electronic equipment.