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LASCO teacher-of-the-year project empowers Schoolfield Primary

Monday, December 03, 2018

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Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth – Principal of the Schoolfield Primary and Infant School, Natalee Roper-Allen, is describing a 13-month project to help teachers at the school learn Spanish as transformational.

“As a result of this project the teachers here are able to help their students learn Spanish. That's something they weren't able to do before,” Roper-Allen told the Jamaica Observer Central recently.

“All classes from infant to Grade Six now do Spanish and the children are learning,” Roper-Allen said.

“With this kind of exposure, children (studying Spanish) can now transition more smoothly to high school,” she said. She told Observer Central that since the September start of the school term she has received positive feedback from high schools about the Spanish language skills of students from Schoolfield Primary.

The project was conceptualised and executed by Spanish teacher at St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) Kerene Nelson, as part of her functions as LASCO Teacher of the Year for 2016-17.

“The LASCO journey with these teachers (at Schoolfield Primary) was so fulfilling that I barely can find all the adjectives to adequately and comprehensively describe the experience,” Nelson told Observer Central.

“I say however, without a trace of a doubt, that these are the most amazing and co-operative teachers I have ever encountered. They reinforced to me that there cannot be success without co-operation. They made my project successful. I salute them!” she said.

Nelson told a recent graduation ceremony for Schoolfield teachers that “from my observation and experience, the students are enjoying learning the language very much. On every visit to the school, I am surrounded by a group of students exchanging Spanish with me and telling me what they learnt in class on that day”.

A second phase of Nelson's LASCO project involved the establishment of The Kerene Nelson Signature of Excellence Fund, to assist needy students at Schoolfield Primary and Infant School.

“The student has to be in Grade Six and must sit the Primary Exit exam, must have an overall average of at least 70 per cent in that examination, have significant financial challenges and display exemplary conduct and deportment.

“There have been two recipients so far. The first is Glenroy Dockery who attends the Black River High School and he received $40,000 in 2017 to assist with transportation and lunch for one year. The second recipient is Toni-ann Foster, who attends St Elizabeth Technical High School and gladly, the fund's ability was strengthened, so, Toni-ann received $50,000 for lunch and transportation for the academic year 2018-2019,” said Nelson.

“It is my hope that the life of this fund will be very long. You can contribute to it if you wish,” she added.

Nelson thanked the Lasco Group of Companies and the founder and CEO Lascelles Chin for their “undying commitment” to education. Also, she expressed her gratitude to STETHS principal Keith Wellington (principal of the year in 2016-17) and colleagues at the school for their support.

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