The Digicel Foundation has teamed up with the Spanish Jamaican Foundation to launch a Mobile Library Cart Programme. The announcement was made at the Embassy of Spain on Thursday, November 21. The Mobile Library Cart programme was designed to bolster literacy levels among primary school students through the provision of books that will provide supplementary reading material for schools participating in the Enrichment Programme. Each cart will contain 210 books. The Spanish Jamaican Foundation will supply bilingual English-Spanish books to expose students to a second language. The Mobile Library Cart is an effective way of safely securing learning materials that can be transported from classroom to classroom. “We are absolutely delighted that the Spanish Jamaican Foundation has come on board with us,” remarked Dane Richardson, Programme Manager for Education at the Digicel Foundation. “Having exposure to a second language is so critical, especially in today’s increasingly globalized world. Being introduced to Spanish at a young age will greatly enhance the educational opportunities provided to these students.” Most of these schools do not have their own library, leaving the children without access to additional reading materials. “Each cart will have books that pertain to a variety of subject areas. Several of them will also have Jamaican and Caribbean references,” continued Richardson. The Enrichment programme, launched in 2009, is in keeping with the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of achieving 100% literacy by 2015. The initiative provides individualised instruction for students in grades one to three who are experiencing severe difficulty in achieving the grade appropriate reading level. "The Spanish Jamaican Foundation (SJF) is pleased to be partnering with Digicel Foundation to further support literacy development island-wide," said General Manager Dr. Rebecca Tortello. "Through the SJF's contribution of bilingual reading sets for each book cart/corner, we will not only be supporting emergent literacy in the early grades, but also the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language - both are core focus areas for our foundation." Nearly 20,000 books have been secured for inclusion in the Mobile Library Carts. The Carts will complement other literacy tools provided to 95 schools through the expansion of the Enrichment Programme over the next three years. This expansion is the result of a partnership with USAID that is valued at over US$3.7 million. “USAID continues to develop effective, robust models for public-private partnerships to improve the social and economic conditions in developing countries. In Jamaica, USAID's partnership with the Digicel Foundation is key as we work with the Government of Jamaica to increase literacy levels in basic education,” noted Denise A. Herbol, Mission Director at USAID. The successes to date have shown an average increase of two grade levels, which have been attributed to the intervention provided by the Enrichment Programme.