“As 5,800 children have received their book bags, The Palmyra Foundation starts fundraising efforts for the 2014 book distribution.”
Books4Kids Jamaica announced today the completion of its 2013 book distribution, during which more than 35 sponsors and volunteers personally helped deliver book bags to 5,892 children in 50 schools across 7 parishes in Jamaica, distributing 25,000 books valued at over US$170,000.
Foundation Board Member Frank Perolli said, “We wish to thank all the sponsors and volunteers who made this year’s distribution possible.” Perolli highlighted program sponsor Dr. Glenna Tyler, who donated 500 ’A thru Z’ books and CDs for a growing number of 3 year olds that The Foundation is giving books to in the many Basic schools visited, and who travelled to Jamaica with her mother Cheryl Tyler-Folsom to volunteer for this year’s book distribution.
“We at AyBeCee Inc are grateful for the opportunity to work with The Palmyra Foundation”, said Dr. Tyler. “The fact that it was a great fit for our ‘A thru Z’ books to get to the youngest school age learners on the island was in divine order. To be able to assist in the distribution of the books was an Awesome experience. To continue to monitor the progress and updates daily from the US via the Internet was something that we looked forward to everyday”, Dr. Tyler explained.
This year the Foundation group of volunteers was bolstered by the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness who joined the group to hand out books at Redwood Primary School and MP Lloyd B Smith who attended at Green Pond Infant School. It was great to have these male role models as part of the Team.
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.
The charity accomplished its qualitative goal in 2013 of maintaining an 85% average on the ‘Palmyra Foundation Assessment’. A remarkable 86% average was measured among 1750 Kindergarten children who received books from the Foundation at the beginning of the school year, which evaluates the children’s reading, writing, math and science skills.
A large part of the charity’s 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 from Scholastic Publishers, the largest publisher of textbooks in the US, 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.
To speak to the impact that Books4Kids Jamaica is making on the school community, Mrs. Haughton, Principal at Cambridge Infant School, St. James states; “I want to express sincere gratitude to you and the Palmyra family for your continued support to our school. We really appreciate your time and your effort. This kind gesture left many children, teachers and parents very happy. We salute and thank you.”
“A special thanks to The Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Finance, The Jamaican Customs Department and Keith Thorpe Ltd. for their assistance in getting the books to Jamaica”, said Perolli.
With this year’s book distribution is now completed, The Palmyra Foundation immediately begins its efforts to raise funds for next year’s book distribution with an online Charity Auction planned for March 2014. 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 2013, our Online Charity Auction website had more than 12,000 visitors in a mere 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.”