No Mind Left Behind
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic directly impacted this vulnerable group, their families and teachers and the Foundation identified urgent needs. An investment of J$10,047,783.66 was made which benefitted 21 schools from 8 parishes, namely Kingston & St. Andrew, Manchester, St. Thomas, St. James, St. Catherine, St. Ann, Trelawny and Clarendon. Of the total, 7 Basic Schools, 6 Primary Schools, 7 High Schools and 1 Special Needs Intervention Center were included, with an estimate of over 7,500 students and their families.
The Seaview Gardens Primary School, Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High, Christian’s Early Childhood Academy and Callaloo Mews Basic School were among the first set of schools to benefit under this programme.
Additionally, at the start of the pandemic, through a partnership with Sampars, the Foundation also provided sanitisation tools and equipment such as automatic sanitizer dispensers, handheld thermometers and 117 food packages for needy families and 24 food vouchers to teachers at the Christian Academy and Callaloo Basic Schools. In the midst of the pandemic the country’s education system moved to online learning, causing a digital divide for many Jamaican students, the Foundation offered prompt assistance by offering 220 tablets.
This programme also included a sub-component called ‘No Male Left Behind’ which saw the Yallahs High School receiving two laptops for teachers, 10 tablets and food care bags for the 10 males participating in the project. The Church Teachers’ College’s Educational Assessment and Intervention Centre received financial support and 10 tablets for the hosting of a workshop for parents and teachers on how to navigate the e-learning space.