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Read Across Jamaica Brings Attention To Family Literacy During Parent Month

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Literacy Specialists from the Ministry of Education (MOE) delivered two dynamic workshop sessions during the 2nd Annual Literacy Workshop and Family Night outreach program hosted by Read Across Jamaica Foundation (RAJ), National Association for Jamaican and Supportive Organizations-Jamaica (NAJASO-JA) and Liberty Hall. The outreach program recognized family involvement in education and was held during November’s Parent Month” on November 11-12, 2010).   Presenters delivered interactive sessions to attendees and shared best practices, experiential techniques and gave both educators and parents tools to take away to engage with their children. “Play, play, play, even if in some small way.  Parents impact their children’s ability to learn and we can encourage & teach them through play” said Laurel Brent-Harris, National Literacy Coordinator, Ministry of Education.

In an effort to build on collaborative partnerships,  MOE, RAJ & NAJASO-JA pulled together a team of literacy specialists,  early education professionals and parents echoing the theme coined by the Coalition for Better Parenting “Parent the Right Way: Read, Listen and Play With Your Child Everyday.”  Attendees focused on communication techniques that recognized parenting as a complex activity requiring patience, accountability, respect.  “Afterschool center’s  influence, teach and impact a child’s learning and offer parents an opportunity to stay involved in their children’s learning” commented Roslyn Ellison of the Trench town Reading Center.  “Once again, Read Across Jamaica has given us a wonderful, educational and fun-inspiring day.”

The Read Across Jamaica Foundation reported three important outcomes from these workshops: 1) an increase in attendance by 42% from 2009 showing a growing trend for parent interest and involvement in their children’s education; 2) support from the Ministry of Education ensuring awareness, content and delivery of the National Standards for Literacy; and 3) collaboration with other NGO’s showing a willingness to pool human resources and build on common themes.  Supportive partners included:  Jamaica Nationals Association of Washington DC, Coalition for Jamaica, Sandals Ocho Rios, Jamaica Library Service, Liberty Hall and NAJASO-Jamaica.

Read Across Jamaica continues to improve its service outreach program and is proud to be doing it’s part to help the country [Jamaica] come closer to meeting the 2030 Vision for Education” said Ja’nice Wisdom, Chair of the Board and Executive Director of Read Across Jamaica Foundation. “RAJ will continue outreach annually in January, May and November of 2011 celebrating civil rights pioneers (Martin L. King, Jr.), Education Week and Parent Month.  It is here that we see our impact on children, families and community,” concluded Ms. Wisdom.

The RAJ Service Outreach program focuses on volunteerism, vision and leadership in early childhood education and seeks to involve all community stakeholders.  Headquartered in Lanham, MD, Read Across Jamaica Foundation is one of the NGO’s pioneering the way for literacy focused collaborations and encouraging education by entertaining youth and families to read together.

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