Finalists selected for local education award

| 23/04/2010

(CNS): Bodden Town Primary School, Cayman Prep and High School, George Town Primary School, John Gray High School and The Wellness Centre have been selected as this year’s five finalists for the Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA) sponsored by dms. The finalist initiatives range from a marine science programme and a film club to an autism programme for school classrooms. The winner of the award will be selected by a committee and they group will receive $12,000 towards their project and it will be announced next month.

Bodden Town Primary School proposed an initiative titled “Beyond School” which seeks to enrich the way students spend their time out of school, as well as in school. It is targeted towards students who have demonstrated challenges in best utilizing their talents, and will serve to ignite a passion for learning, encouraging them to concentrate on their studies through innovative and exciting methods.
Cayman Prep and High School recently introduced a marine science programme as an A-level two-year course of sufficiently high standard which can be used for advanced credit at North American universities. They require funding to continue to offer a host of off-site excursions to that provide invaluable hands-on experience for students.
George Town Primary School applied for the grant to support its Digital Visual Media Club which equips students with necessary skills to integrate literacy with media. This programme teaches students proficiency in various digital, visual, broadcasting and photojournalism applications, as well as the opportunity to explore careers in the relevant industry.
John Gray High School requires funding to purchase dive equipment for the new schools for its John Gray High School Scuba Diving Club. The club seeks to heighten awareness for environmental and marine conservation, and the equipment will assist in making diving more accessible to students after they have completed their open-water dive course. 
The Wellness Centre requested funding to assist with a soon-to-be-launched project titled “Autism in the Classroom”, a two-day comprehensive training programme for teachers. It is aimed at increasing awareness and providing teachers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with research-based training through an interactive and supportive learning opportunity
This is the fourth year of the award which the firm said is not limited to mainstream education initiatives, but looks to reward initiatives that enrich the lives of young people through a traditional academic or extracurricular activity. Granting up to KYD $12,000 annually the application process was launched in early February and came to a close on 1 April. The JCA committee comprised of eight reputable members of the local business and education communities selected the five finalists.
Chairperson of the JCA Committee Joanna Clarke said that each year she continues to be impressed with the level of enthusiasm for the betterment of our youth and the innovative and worthy initiatives. “It is challenging when it comes to selecting the finalists and winners alike, but we do our best to ensure that the initiatives selected align with the criteria we have established. I am also impressed with dms’ commitment to investing in our youth – they have demonstrated tremendous corporate responsibility and I hope that other firms continue to provide much-needed private funding to contribute towards the enrichment of our youth,” she added.
The finalists made presentations to the committee on 20 April and the 2010 winner(s) will be announced Saturday, 22 May at LUCA restaurant. If several worthy projects are identified, the committee may provide grants to multiple organizations up to KYD $12,000 in total.
dms Vice President and JCA Committee Member Krista Pell said the committee commended all the applicants on their endeavours. “It is incredibly rewarding to learn just how many dedicated professionals we have in the education community, and we look forward to continuing to do our part to fund as many deserving projects as possible. This award process itself is incredible as it generates public interest in education enabling the potential for alternative funding from other sources,” she said.
For further information contact Tara Tvedt-Pearson, dms Organization Ltd. Project Coordinator, at 749-2407 or
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