Special needs projects receive education awards

| 20/05/2011

(CNS): Two education initiatives help those with special needs walked away with $6000 each last weekend at the 2011 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA), sponsored by DMS. This year’s winners were Catch Up Cayman which helps young people who are underachieving because of literacy challenges and the Speech and Language Therapy Department for its training assistance programme Making Hanen Happen whichtrains and support parents of children with language delays.  The award not only assists in funding the initiatives but also helps raise awareness about the efforts, encouraging further private sector support.

Catch Up Literacy requested funding to continue its programme which seeks to address the problem of underachievement that is often rooted in literacy and numeracy challenges. In 2010 literacy coaches underwent training to offer the programme which is based on a proven literacy model that enables and supports the sustainable use and embedding of the Catch Up Cayman intervention for ‘at risk’ students across Cayman’s public schools.

JCA Committee Member Tara Tvedt said Catch up Cayman was selected because of the ‘train the trainer’ aspect which offers sustainability to the project.  “Going forward there will be no requirement to hire trainers from the UK foundation, and thus the programme becomes self sustainable.  In addition, the organization has already identified and recruited local volunteers from organizations such as Rotary International and the Pink Ladies who would like to be trained as facilitators, and thus it also demonstrates the criteria ‘to contribute to community involvement in education,” she said.

The Speech and Language Therapy Department sought funding to set up a training assistance programme intended to train and support parents and caregivers of children with language delays to understand how they can assist with language development. Parents and caregivers will undergo a 12-week training programme to become language facilitators and understand how to maximize children’s daily routines, even playtimes.

DMS Vice President and a JCA Committee Member Krista Pell said it was selected largely because the programme is centered on community as well as parental involvement, with the training being offered to parents and caregivers alike. “Making Hanen Happen is an outstanding programme that encourages participation at an active level with a variety of children to combat language delays, and we are proud to do our part to support them,” she added.

Joanna Clarke, said it was inspiring to see how many educators were striving for improvement in the education system.  “There is great opportunity for funding from the private sector to help drive even greater success stories,” the former educator stated.
The other finalists recognized at the ceremony and their proposed initiatives included Early Years Task Force for its Preschool Educational and Training Assistance Programme; the School Counselor’s Group to provide guidance counseling; and the Harmony Learning Centre for its Towards Independence Programme.

The silent auction raised additional proceeds for the Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund which added to ticket sales equaled an impressive $4,000.DMS President, and a former student of Ms. Clarke’s, Don Seymour said the firm remained committed to building the community through donations, sponsorship and volunteer efforts. “This award is one that we cherish and hold in the highest regard as it brings to the forefront so many deserving education initiatives that require the support of the private sector to be successful. We commend all applicants on their endeavours to provide invaluable opportunities for Cayman’s people to capitalize on their skills and talents, and DMS looks forward to continuing to do our part to help them succeed in their mission,” Seymour said.

For further information on the Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award visit www.joannaclarkeaward.ky. 


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  1. Anonymous says:

    On another matter.  It is no wonder that HOOLIGUNS can go around robbing, using imitation guns.  Stores are allowed to sell these guns

    case in point, there is a Mini Mart on Botabano Road in West Bay that has these  guns selling, looking just like the real thing.  The worst part is that the Police knows about where these guns are sellings, but doing nothing about taking them off the shelf.  I say shame on the RCIPS. They are breaking the law by allowing these imitation guns to be sold.