Help for a 'King'
Reading room almost a reality for Little Bay Infant and All-Age SchoolThursday, October 01, 2020
WITH a dream of improving literacy and literary skills for students at Little Bay Infant and All-Age School in Westmoreland, Principal Keron King has made a major step towards that goal through a $300,000 'Mek a Muckle' grant from the Digicel Foundation.
The money will go towards the completion of a reading room on the school's premises, for the benefit of its 186 students. It will also serve the literacy needs of other residents in the coastal community of Little Bay.
With the recent acquisition of a 40-foot container to house the facility, school administrators are working to retrofit the unit and make the reading room a reality.
“I want to say a big thank you to the Digicel Foundation for not taking any long deliberation to help Little Bay. I appreciate the foundation for helping students and educational institutions across the length and breadth of the country. Its presence is felt in the rural areas and for that Digicel and its foundation are to be commended,” said King.
He argued that the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic has made the reading room even more of a need.
“Given the COVID situation, we want to ensure that equity and accessibility are met for these students,” said King, who emphasised the importance of including technology in the reading room.
“We want to purchase a printer that will assist those students who do not have access to the Internet at home to come here, print, and take home reading and learning materials,” added King, who made headlines for riding his bike to deliver schoolwork to students shortly after the pandemic struck in March.
CEO of Digicel Foundation, Charmaine Daniels, commented: “Mr King exemplifies what we stand for at the Digicel Foundation — getting everyone involved to contribute what they can, because 'every mickle mek a muckle'.
“The Digicel Foundation is committed to safeguarding our students at the primary level and ensuring that they have access to quality education. Assisting the Little Bay Infant and All-Age School is one of the many ways we are ensuring that Jamaica's children do not get left behind during this pandemic,” Daniels added.
The Digicel Foundation has been a long-standing proponent for literacy and early childhood education through its ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and the Early Childhood Commission. It has been investing in educational institutions since its inception in 2004, and has completed 553 projects to date.
Since the pandemic, Digicel and its foundation have been implementing digital solutions for Jamaica's students through the donation of more than 1,000 tablets and data plans so they can stay connected to online learning portals.