First Look

Jamaica to benefit from USAID’S Early Grade Reading Programme

Jamaica Information Service | 2016-03-09 00:00:00

Jamaica is to benefit from a five-year programme being undertaken by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support  early grade reading among children in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries.

The LAC READS Capacity programme will provide technical assistance to the Jamaican Government and other key stakeholders, to enhance efforts to boost early reading outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged children.

The Jamaican leg of the programme was launched today (March 9) at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston.

Programme Manager for the LAC READS Capacity programme, Jamaica,
Dr. Jean Beaumont, explained that the initiative “is USAID’s response to facilitate sustainable improvement in reading outcomes in the pre-primary and early primary grades in eight countries across.”

She noted that in Jamaica, the programme will seek to increase the impact, scale and sustainability of early reading interventions, through the development of a state-of-the-art set of knowledge resources.

“We will collaborate with the Ministry of Education to provide technical assistance and to build capacity to enhance efforts to strengthen or spawn the creation of new sustainable platforms in early grade reading, particularly among disadvantaged youths,” Dr. Beaumont said.

Mission Director, USAID Jamaica, Denise Herbol, said the programme is an “important next step for Jamaica in the early and basic education landscape.”

“It provides that platform to ensure sustainability of early grade reading by expanding institutional capacity,” she pointed out.

Ms. Herbol noted that the initiative will provide the opportunity for
the ministries of education in Latin America and Caribbean to collaborate and learn more from each other.

“Teacher trainers and researchers will share this collection of evidence on early grade reading. Educators will be able to widen the available pool of resources and strengthen pedagogies as they share the single goal of improving the education outcomes of early readers. All players, in delivering early grade reading solutions, will know with certainty  what learning resources exist in the sector and where they exist,” she pointed out.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information,
Dr. Maurice Smith, said he is grateful for the initiative and the focus on capcity building.

The US-based American Institute for Research is implementing the five-year programme in partnership with Juarez and Associates, EduConnectJA, (a Jamaican non-government organisation) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

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