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Boost to Literacy in St Ann & St Mary Schools

Boost to Literacy in St Ann & St Mary Schools
November 15, 2017 (Ocho Rios, Jamaica): Last week students in St. Ann and St Mary area benefitted from access to leading-edge teaching techniques, interactive lessons, plus loads of school supplies and computer equipment donated by “SuperKids” a project of the international organization Great Shape! Inc. and partners the Sandals Foundation.

Volunteers of SuperKids assisted three schools in those parishes with curriculum inputs, supplies, and people power. A goal of the project was also to help improve literacy skills amongst students who were exposed to innovative teaching techniques in the areas of language arts, information technology, sports, and art. A volunteer IT team also travelled around configuring new computer labs in schools, libraries and a community center while refreshing the dozens of labs they’ve already built over the years. In all, 275 computers, plus all the gear to support a modern computer lab were donated.

Brad Adams, SuperKids Co-Director, who is in charge of outfitting all the computer labs said, “It’s an amazing partnership with Sandals Foundation and the Ministry… where we all have the same goal: help educate and lead Jamaica’s children into the future.”

“We have had a productive and long partnership with GreatShape through the years, whether it be the 1000 Smiles dental team, iCare optical team or SuperKids teachers,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of Sandals Foundation which partners with Sandals and Beaches Resorts to provide accommodation, on the ground logistics and transportation for these projects. “The generosity of time and service of the team to assist others is very inspiring, and the communities are always grateful for the resources that they bring as well. We really want to thank SuperKids for all that they do to empower students and teachers.”

The SuperKids project was first launched in 2008 in the Ocho Rios region and rotated to the Negril area in 2011. SuperKids partners with a set of schools for three to four years, then rotates to a new group of schools. This year 110 volunteers from USA, Canada and Jamaica recently concluded two weeks working with the primary schools: Boscobel Primary School, Exchange All Age, and Ocho Rios Primary.

Great Shape! Inc. chooses the schools in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Sandals Foundation based on testing results and the needs of the students. In every case, the schools have shown improved academic scores after partnering with the SuperKids project.

The volunteers also organized and delivered hundreds of shoes and thousands of reading books as well as gifted supplies such as books, shoes, school uniforms, school supplies, sun hats, children’s games and toys.

Beaches Ocho Rios was the host resort for the volunteers who were able to spend the afternoon and weekends relaxing and enjoying the resort’s experience.