$21-million assistance
US Embassy donation supports education and conservation programmes
United States Ambassador to Jamaica N Nick Perry (centre) and representatives of six local entities that were presented with more than $21 million to help them conduct programmes in education, youth development, conflict resolution, and animal conservation. They are (in front) Taneshia Stoney-Dryden (left) of United Way of Jamaica, and Lisa D'Oyen, Seprod Foundation. Back row (from left) Tanikie McClarthy, JWN Foundation; Kadeem Petgrave, Educatours; Simier Lansend, Educatours; Maureen Davis-Atkinson, Creative Language-Based Learning; Professor Rosalea Hamilton, LASCO Chin Foundation; and Lisandra Jureidini, Creative Language-Based Learning.

The United States Embassy in Jamaica has donated more than $21 million to six local entities that will help them conduct programmes in education, youth development, conflict resolution, and animal conservation.

After making the presentation at a recent ceremony held at the US Embassy in St Andrew, Ambassador N Nick Perry congratulated each recipient and said that the "US Government is pleased to support programmes that create opportunities that tackle challenges faced by Jamaica".

"The programmes," he said, "will help provide a road map to success for many of the island's youth."

The six awards were made through the embassy's Public Diplomacy Federal Awards Programme following a Notice of Funding Opportunity which attracted more than 70 applicants.

The recipients are Creative Language-Based Learning (CLBL) Foundation, Educatours JA Limited, JWN Foundation, Seprod Foundation, United Way of Jamaica, and the International Iguana Foundation.

The CLBL Foundation is a non-profit, educational initiative designed to improve the learning ability of children across Jamaica by developing a community of early childhood and special needs educators. Led by founder Mandy Melville, CLBL will execute a programme involving literacy and numeracy training for teachers throughout the island.

Educatours JA Limited is an EdTech and adventure tour company powered by exploration with gamification, storytelling and technology to enhance tours and learning. Co-founders Kadeem Petgrave and Simier Lansend will undertake a 'Math and Money Challenge' aimed at addressing math anxiety and strengthening financial literacy among marginalised youth.

Known for its philanthropic pursuits, JWN Foundation will delve into the issue of conflict resolution in schools. In partnership with LASCO Chin Foundation and Learn The Fun, JWN Foundation will facilitate intensive training for teachers and student participants on techniques to prevent dangerous and violent situations, towards promoting safe living and learning environments.

Seprod Foundation will engage youth between the ages of six and 12 years for its Edu-Skate Extended programme. Through this sport-based educational initiative, the foundation will aim to empower youth with life skills that instil discipline, determination, and self-motivation to achieve healthy personal goals.

The Read Right from the Start Train the Trainer programme, led by United Way of Jamaica, will aim to improve the capacity of teachers within the early childhood sector to deliver effective language and literacy programmes to children from birth to six years old. United Way will also collaborate with the United Way of Greater Atlanta and language and literacy experts from the Rollins Center, to conduct face-to-face training sessions in Jamaica with groups of early childhood teachers and representatives of the Early Childhood Commission.

Caribbean Rock Iguanas are the most imperilled group of lizards in the world and the Jamaican Rock Iguana, considered critically endangered, is arguably the most threatened among them. The International Iguana Foundation will undertake the enhancing conservation and management of the Jamaican Rock Iguana. This programme highlights the progress that can be achieved through strong partnerships between US and Jamaican stakeholders, working towards the protection of Jamaica's unique flora and fauna.

The embassy, in a news release, said it "is pleased to support these initiatives that enhance our shared priorities towards progress, prosperity, and peace".

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