CDA Participates in I PLEDGE and Reading Week Launch
Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA), Mrs. Rosalee Gage-Grey has cited the importance of reading to the shaping of young minds.
“Getting children involved in reading from early in life helps to instill a thirst for knowledge and supports their development, Mrs. Gage-Grey said.
The CDA CEO was speaking recently after she read to a group of children during the launch of the Western Union’s I promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education (I PLEDGE) Programme and Reading Week, held recently at Ascot Primary School, in Portmore, St. Catherine.
Commenting on I PLEDGE, Mrs. Gage Grey said that the CDA fully endorses a Programme of such magnitude, which has been positively impacting children throughout the island. Relating her experience while reading to the children, she said that it was truly and honour, and an excellent experience.
Reading Week held under the banner of the I PLEDGE Programme was observed from April 7 to 11, under the theme “A Great READER makes a GREAT LEADER’. The event was officially launched by Patron of the Programme Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Allen, who also gave the keynote address.
Lady Allen said that the I PLEDGE. Programme is truly a great initiative, which has been impacting children across the island positively, citing all its components.
“It makes partners of all of us who believes in doing our best to provide a good education for our children. It motivates us to keep our pledge to encourage our children to study well and read widely, since reading is a basic tool for a good education, “she said.
Emphasising the theme, she said it signifies that in order to hold a good possession in the work world or function effectively in the family, one must be able to read and understand well.
“There is so much information from which we can learn. Boys and girls, make the most of your time in school, and read as much as you can. I must say though that there are a lot of distasteful material that are out there for you to read, so choose your reading material wisely, which will improve your vocabulary and literacy skills,” Lady Allen stressed.
Updating on the progress of the I PLEDGE Programme, Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Financial Group (GKFG) Courtney Campbell said that it has been making strides, and have benefited schools, children, parents, principals, and teachers islandwide.
He said that so far, Western Union has donated $10 million worth of computer equipment to over 40 schools islandwide for 2014-15, and will continue on its drive to provide children with an opportunity to benefit from IT-based learning.
“We will continue to assist as many schools as possible, because we are living in a technological age, and introducing information technology to children as early as the primary level will provide them with the requisite skills needed for the future,” he said.
Emphasising the importance of reading, President of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association (JTA), Dr. Mark Nicely said that the ability to read makes a huge difference in one’s life.
“We are all cognizant of how important reading is to the welfare and the academic growth of our nation’s children. While the government of Jamaica has responsibility to facilitate learning, and by extension facilitate the education sector, they cannot do it alone,” he argued.
He lauded the GraceKennedy Financial Group for such an intervention, and also encouraged the children to take care of the equipment and materials provided, so others can benefit in the years to come.
He added that reading is the canvas, on which literacy is painted, and as
a people, Jamaicans have to be able to read in order to access other skills that will allow them to function effectively in the society.
“We believe that by promoting education, which is key to raising the productivity level in Jamaica; we will be able to achieve the goals of vision 2030, which is to “Make Jamaica the Place of Choice to live, work, raise families, and do business’, Dr. Nicely said.
The I PLEDGE is a multi-faceted programme, endorsed by the Ministry of Education and is geared at strengthening the reading and literacy skills of children. It involves three components, the Western Union Reading Week, Debating Schools’ Competition, and the computerization Programme, which provides computer equipment to schools islandwide, to facilitate learning.
Contact: CDA PR Unit (Jeneva Gordon)