Books4Kids Jamaica announces the completion of their 2014 book distribution to 4 and 5 year old Infant School children. 6533 children, under the Books4Kids Jamaica banner “The future is bright, when you can read and write!”, were provided child with a book bag containing a colourful 300 page BrainQuest Workbook, 1 or 2 reading books, a pack of crayons and pencil, at a value of approximately US$30 per book bag. The books are extremely well received by the children and educators alike in the parishes of St. James, Westmoreland, Trelawny, Hanover, St. Catherine, Portland and Kingston. The final school to receive books this year was All Saints Infant School in Denham Town in Kingston.
The highlight this year was a donation from Lilliane Bastien, Frank Litschauer and the students of Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School of ‘One Book at a Time Foundation’ from Montreal Canada, with a donation of over 9000 reading books and school materials, which allowed the Foundation to buy more workbooks this year and reach more children.
“There is no greater contribution you can make to the future of Jamaica than to improve the education and self-esteem for its children”, stated President and Board Member of The Palmyra Foundation, Mrs. Ragni Trotta. “By providing books and other educational materials, Books4Kids Jamaica aims to help eradicate illiteracy and promote a positive outlook of prosperity for the children of Jamaica. A secondary objective is to improve the children’s self esteem, introduce them to community role models and ultimately give hope of success to children growing up under challenging circumstances”.
Officers from the Early Childhood Commission, Ms. Nikki Windross and Ms. Lisa Burton who were present at many schools to assist with the book distribution, again this year. Said Ms. Nikki Windross, Regional Early Childhood Development Officer in Region 4, “This is the Foundation’s seventh (7th) year providing learning materials to Early Childhood Institutions. The effects of its contribution have proven worthwhile as the students who received materials last year saw a boost in their performance.”
Other sponsors critical to this year’s effort were the teams from Seaboard Freight & Shipping who brought the books to the island and local transportation company Jamaica Tours Limited (JTL) who helped bring teams and books to the many schools, as well as program sponsors Crestone Capital Advisors and Landmark Associates. We also want to thank Food for the Poor for their assistance in donating books, shoes and some bags of rice for some of the remote schools.
“We wish to thank all the sponsors and volunteers who made this year’s distribution so successful”, said Foundation Board Member Frank Perolli.
This year, the charity accomplished their qualitative goal of maintaining an 85% average success rate on the “Palmyra Foundation Assessment” among children who received books. A remarkable 91% average success rate on the test was measured among 2500 Kindergarten children who received books from the charity at the beginning of the school year, which evaluates the children’s reading, writing, math and science skills.
A large part of this success is due to the fact that the children love the interactive and colourful 300 page BrainQuest Workbooks, which covers the core curriculum of alphabet, numbers, phonics, shapes and colours. Paired with supporting reading books, the overall effect has proven to be immediate. Starting in 2013, all schools who receive books from the charity will be required to administer the Assessments to their students, thereby actively helping to monitor results.
With this year’s book distribution is now completed, The Foundation immediately begins its efforts to raise funds for next year’s books distribution with an Online Charity Auction planned for March 2015. Among 150 fantastic items on last year’s “virtual auction block” was DELTA airline tickets, luxury vacation stays in Hawaii, Bali, Miami, Colorado, Italy, Spain, Dubai and Jamaica, a Royal Caribbean cruise. Revealed Perolli; “In 2014, our Online Charity Auction website had more than 12,000 visitors in just 3 weeks, and we hope to make next year’s auction even better. Please help us raise money for next year’s books through donations to our Online Charity Auction, whether it is for vacation stays, tickets, jewelry, “meet & greets” with famous personalities, sports memorabilia, art or restaurant vouchers.”