UJAA (USA) Joins Forces With Corporate for Education

The Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA), Inc, on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, joined forces with a number of corporate and community partners for the cause of education.

UJAA (USA), Inc, is partnering with GraceKennedy Money Services, in supporting community development with an emphasis on elementary school education.

The education development initiative known as “I PLEDGE” – I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education – a reading series for elementary students in New York, of Caribbean heritage, was launched at a reception at the Consulate General of Jamaica, Manhattan, on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

First launched in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2010, as a legacy of the 20th anniversary of the GraceKennedy/Western Union partnership, the ‘I PLEDGE’ program targets primary school students.

“The goal of this collaborative effort is to promote reading and improve literacy skills, specifically among second through fifth graders, as we continue to encourage academic excellence among our young people,” stated Karlene Largie, president of UJAA (USA), Inc.

Noel Greenland, Senior VP/Operations & Marketing at GraceKennedy Money Services noted that the education of our youth is a community responsibility as, “today’s readers will be tomorrow’s leaders”.

“The Western Union ‘I PLEDGE’ Reading Week seeks to highlight the need for parents, well-wishers and friends to get on board to become part of the solution, as we jointly seek to educate our children for nation building,” Greenland told the audience.

Garfield Comrie, GKMS/WU New York area representative who offered the vote of thanks, noted that the reading week was one way of underscoring the importance of the Caribbean consumer market and the company’s commitment to giving back to the community.

The reception was attended by a cross-section of persons from the community including the four participating schools. A selection of noted personalities including, master of ceremonies Irwine Clare, Sr, and Consul General, Herman LaMont, will criss-cross the city during the week of March 18, designated as UJAA-GKMS Western Union ‘I PLEDGE’ Reading Week.

The students will be engaged in the art of reading and comprehension.

The participating schools are: Academy Charter School, Hempstead; Bronx Charter School for Better Learning, Bronx; Cambria Center for the Gifted, Queens; and St. Mark’s Day School, Brooklyn.

The New York-based UJAA (USA), Inc, was founded in 1990 as a not-for-profit, umbrella organization of alumni associations of Jamaican primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions. Its primary mission is to promote academic excellence at all levels of education in Jamaica through charitable endeavors.