Local firm seeks nominees for education awards

| 15/02/2010

(CNS): Four the fourth year running a local business will be giving away CI$12,000 to help fund a number of education initiatives. Cayman Islands-based business conglomerate, dms Organization Ltd. (dms), is looking for nominees for its 2010 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA), and the newly-created Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund. Organisers said they would be happy to consider previous applications as they said each year worthy initiatives are turned down because the pressing number of worthwhile projects. The awards were introduced the award to honour Joanna Clarke (left) in 2006, and publicly acknowledge the efforts of all those that contribute to education in the Cayman Islands.

“Giving back to the local community through a selection of sponsorship and volunteer efforts has always been fundamental to our business practice,” said Don Seymour, president of dms. “This award seeks to bring awareness to the contributions of our local educators and encourage others to demonstrate their support.”

Applications are currently being circulated throughout Cayman Islands’ schools and are available at the award website www.joannaclark.ky. Parties eligible for consideration include but are not limited to: teachers, students, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and schools. The JCA criteria are:

Contribute to and promote excellence in education in the Cayman Islands;

Be sustainable and measurable;

Contribute to increased parental and/or community involvement in education;

Be affiliated with a reputable educational institution or organization;

Demonstrate a proven history in successful education projects and/or teaching;

Organisers said the JCA committee will 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.

“Each year it becomes increasingly abundant how many deserving initiatives and committed educators we have amongst us in our community,” said dms Vice President Krista Pell. “It can be incredibly challenging to decipher – but what is important to remember is that we invite applicants who may not have been chosen last year to apply again, as well as of course welcoming new initiatives for consideration. As well as winning, there is also the opportunity to bring awareness to your programmes, and wevery much look forward to what is brought forth to us this year.”

Previous recipients of the JCA include last year’s winner, the N.C.V.O.’s Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home for its Accessing Computer Aided Learning programme. In 2008 recipient was John Gray High School for its “Blueprint for Literacy” initiative which aimed 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.

“It is of paramount importance to us to visit the recipients and follow up with the progress of the initiatives – my favourite part of this whole process is interacting with the children and learning how they are benefitting,” said Clark. “After all, it is about the children. We are always greeted with such a warm reception, and to date it has been indescribably rewarding to see how well maintained the initiatives we have selected are.”

dms recently introduced the Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund will grant financial support to an aspiring or existing educator looking to further his/her education or wishing to further expand on his/her professional development. dms will be hosting a ‘dress up – dress down day’ to raise additional funds for the fund in late February.

For further information and to obtain an application contact Tara Tvedt-Pearson, dms Organization Ltd. Project Coordinator, at 749-2407 or ttvedt@dms.com.ky


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