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School gets $30,000 to help boost literacy skills

Published: 
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Principal of St Joseph’s College, St Joseph, Hazel Haynes, left, is all smiles, along with her students, as she receives a replica of the $30,000 grant presented by marketing manager of ANSA McAl Chemicals Robert Mohammed at the school yesterday. The funds are to be used for a literacy programme at the school. Photo: NICOLE DRAYTON

ANSA McAL Chemicals, in partnership with Alstons Marketing Company Limited (AMCO), has donated $30,000 to cover the budget for a programme aimed at enhancing the literacy skills of students of St Joseph’s College, St Joseph. The cheque was presented yesterday at the school compound in front of an appreciative student body. The company’s marketing manager, Robert Mohammed, described illiteracy as a major problem which faced not only students but also the entire country. He said the best way to tackle the literacy problem was to screen students and focus resources on aiding those who needed additional tutoring. He said that was the reason why ANSA McAL Chemicals and AMCO had decided to take up the responsibility of supporting the college with its programme.

Principal Hazel Haynes said the school was committed to detecting the causes of students’ learning problems and addressing them. She said she approached the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA) and requested assistance. She said she felt ALTA had the ability and human resources needed to assist students with their language skills. ALTA, she noted, accepted the challenge to be part of the event. However, Haynes said she was asked to seek sponsorship to help provide course materials for the programme. She said ANSA McAL Chemicals and AMCO did not hesitate to fill the school’s need.

The companies have even taken it a step further and have initiated a promotion whereby a portion of sales from ANSA McAL Chemicals Limited’s product, Clean and White Bleach, would be donated to literacy programmes in schools. Students said they were in suppport of the programme. Some said there were significant improvement in their spelling, reading and pronunciation skills and also saw an improvement in their grades for most of their subjects. Adrian Pierre, a Form Four student, said though he felt he could speak well, he had never really understood the basic foundation of grammar. He said he felt more confident about his reading and grammar skills since he entered the programme.