PwC Jamaica enhances Holy Trinity High's Academic Intervention Programme with $2.1-m donation
From left: Dana Coley, senior associate, advisory at PwC Jamaica; Natalie Fearon, manager, marketing and communications at PwC Jamaica; and Father Carl F Clarke, principal at Holy Trinity High School join students of the Academic Intervention Programme (AIP) in proudly displaying four of the eight newly donated desktop computers.

PwC Jamaica has reaffirmed its commitment to education and community development through a donation valued at $2.1 million to Holy Trinity High School aimed at enhancing the institution's Academic Intervention Programme (AIP).

The donation, which is a result of the collective generosity of PwC Jamaica's partners and staff members, covered the beautification of the enrichment centre (where the AIP is held), a new air conditioning unit, and eight desktop computers.

According to Gail Moore, partner and environment lead at PwC Jamaica, access to the right resources is crucial for the development of our schools, students, and the nation.

"The right resources are essential in achieving any goal, whether that is completing a task or a project or, in this case, improving the literacy levels of the students at Holy Trinity High. From the outset we recognised the importance of the Academic Intervention Programme and its success to date. We also noted that for the programme to perform optimally, the enrichment centre, where the programme is being facilitated, would require needed upgrades, the main one being access to computers," shared Moore.

Beneze Barker-Dunn (second left), vice principal at Holy Trinity High School showcases the features of the new air conditioning unit to Carolyn Bell-Wisdom (left), partner and ESG lead at PwC Jamaica, and Dana Coley, senior associate, advisory at PwC Jamaica..

"Last year we donated seven desktop units, 30 tablets, and 100 software access keys, and this year we added an additional eight desktop computers. I am thankful to my colleagues who continue to see a need and meet it to ensure that the programme meets its target of 25 computers. I am also thankful to Father Clarke and the staff at Holy Trinity High for continuing to pour into these children despite the limited resources at their disposal. We look forward to the continued success of this initiative."

At Holy Trinity School, the AIP aims to promote an appreciation for reading and writing while counteracting the declining quality of education caused by low levels of literacy among students. In its current format, the AIP offers specialised attention to students who are reading below their grade level through a tailored programme and dedicated staff.

During the handover ceremony on April 27, Father Carl F Clarke, principal of Holy Trinity High School, highlighted the impact of the AIP on their grade nine cohort. He noted that, as of February 2023, of the 24 grade nine students in the AIP who mostly started out reading at the pre-primer and grade one levels, the results now show one student reading at the grade five level; two students reading at the grade four level; eight students reading at the grade three level; two students reading at the grade two level; five students reading at the grade one level; and two students remaining at the pre-primer level. Two students were unavailable for testing.

Gail Moore, partner and environment lead at PwC Jamaica presents a symbolic cheque for $2.1 million to Father Carl F Clarke, principal at Holy Trinity High School..

Although these are achievements to be celebrated, Father Clarke noted that it's not enough. "Sometimes as we work with students it's important to know where they are. The strategies that we're using may not be sufficient because there may be other factors, situations, or conditions that we are ill equipped to assist with."

To this end, Holy Trinity High School has engaged The MICO University College for diagnostic testing for 50 students, to begin with, to see what additional interventions may be required.

Nevertheless, Father Clarke acknowledged that despite the many challenges they may face, their relentless pursuit of success for the AIP remains bolstered by PwC Jamaica's continuous support of Holy Trinity High School.

"To begin, I want to say thanks to PwC. Thank you, PwC, for partnering with us. You came in 2020 Christmas, and we said at the time we trust that this would not be a one-off experience but it would be a relationship for life. Well … we don't know about the life business, but certainly you've come, you've come, and you've come again. And we're so grateful for that, for expressing your confidence and belief in us. We're so happy that you're leading the way for various persons in corporate Jamaica in adopting, being, with schools like us. We are indeed very grateful for that."

PwC Jamaica donated 40 tablets to the institution in 2020 to help close the digital gap created by COVID-19, then returned in 2022 with seven desktop computers, 30 tablets, and 100 access keys to literacy training software valued at $2 million in support of the AIP.

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