Award committee follows up on recipients

| 23/03/2009

(CNS): The Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA) Committee visited John Gray High School (JGHS) last week to check how the literacy initiative is spending the award it received in 2008. One of the recipients which shared the CI$12,000 funded by the dms Organization Ltd “Blueprint of Literacy” aims to ensure that all high school students, upon graduation, will be able to perform at their grade levels and pass at least four external exams. The JCA grant paid for books for classroom libraries, book club members and audio books for classroom use and leisure reading.

Chairperson of JGHS Literacy Committee and Reading Specialist Reina Jefferson said that getting a book in a student’s hands is one thing – but will they read it? “There is where the challenge lies. It’s about engaging students’ interests in reading, as well as improving their reading ability.” The “Blueprint for Literacy” programme aims to make reading part of students’ everyday lifestyle, rather than a scheduled programme that they participate in at school,” Jefferson added, “If we get some students to model the importance of reading, other students will in time also buy into it.”

Joanna Clarke said she was pleased with the progress of the initiative and looked forward to hearing more about the fruits of their labor in time. “I was very impressed by how passionate the educators are about instilling our youth with the joy of reading.”

dms introduced the award to both honour Clarke and publicly acknowledge the efforts of all persons and organizations that contribute to education in the Cayman Islands. 

"This award has allowed us to launch and implement our school-wide literacy programme, Blueprint for Literacy. With the funds received, students and staff will benefit from high-interest literacy materials, incentives, and rewards specifically provided for John Gray High School,” said JGHS’ Acting Head of English Amber Bothwell. 

Applications for the 2009 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award are currently being circulated throughout Cayman Islands’ schools and are available at the award web site The deadline for applications is 17April 2009. For further information and to obtain an application contact Kim Fellman, dms Marketing Coordinator, at 814-4279 or Any person or body involved in or affiliated with education is eligible for consideration, including but not limited to; teachers/teaching departments, students, PTAs, and schools.

The JCA Committee will carefully review all applications submitted, and if several worthy projects are identified, they may provide grants to multiple organizations up to $12,000 KYD in total.

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