Bestselling author, PACE Canada join forces to get electronic devices to Jamaican children

SCORES of early childhood institutions across Jamaica are set to receive electronic learning devices through a partnership between bestselling author Marjorie Straw and the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE) Canada.

When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit Jamaica in 2020 many children faced challenges in participating in classroom studies, leading to a decline in their academic progress.

To address this, Straw has joined forces with PACE Canada to acquire 1,000 OneTab devices for the early childhood institutions.

These educational devices, which have received approval from Jamaica’s Early Childhood Commission (ECC), are loaded with numeracy and literacy courses aimed at enhancing children’s cognitive learning.

Straw, the author of the bestselling book Suzy The Curious Snail: Explores the Garden, will offer copies of her acclaimed work as a token of gratitude to individuals or organisations contributing to the purchase of 1,000 OneTab devices for basic schools in Jamaica.

The quantity of books provided to each donor depends on the value of their donation, and these books can be freely distributed within the local community to friends and family, as well as local schools.

“This fund-raising approach allows all donors to amplify the impact of their contributions. Think of it as a ‘Buy One, Get One’ offer — donate to literacy and give the gift of reading,” said Shaw as she expressed her belief in the importance of investing in children’s education.

“I firmly believe that our children are our most valuable assets for the future. If we want to future proof our country, we must invest in their education and equip them with the necessary tools to thrive every day. Suzy and I are supporting the PACE OneTab programme, which aims to provide solar-powered, pre-programmed tablets to early childhood institutions, offering lessons in numeracy and literacy.

“We must nurture cognitive learning from an early age. I am relying on everyone to support numeracy and literacy for our toddlers and give the gift of reading,” added Shaw.

To raise the required funds promptly, the appeal primarily targets corporate organisations to make donations towards purchasing a substantial number of devices.

Karlene Degrasse-Deslandes, executive director of ECC, expressed her appreciation for the donation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual learning, leaving those who were unable to participate at risk of falling behind. On behalf of the Early Childhood Commission and the beneficiaries, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to PACE Canada for its generous donation of 1,000 OneTab educational devices in the past, as well as their expected donation of another 1,000 devices,” said Degrasse-Deslandes.

“These devices will be distributed to early childhood institutions throughout Jamaica. This contribution will undoubtedly support our practitioners in advancing the use of technology in the sector. We commend PACE Canada for its unwavering commitment to its vision of creating opportunities through education and cultural development to bring about positive change,” added Degrasse-Deslandes,

Straw is a dynamic and driven consultant with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and business operations. She has a proven track record of effective interaction and relationship management with clients, consumers, and multi-functional project teams.

Known as an experienced strategist, she has successfully delivered on long-term, transformative, and national projects.

She oversees the administration and implementation of the Global Services Sector Project, focusing on strengthening the skills development framework and its ecosystem.

Straw’s book Suzy The Curious Snail: Explores the Garden is illustrated by Peta-Ann Smith. It narrates Suzy’s unwavering curiosity and adventurous spirit. It teaches children about the love of a parent and the strong bond of a caring community. The story’s format allows both parents and children to enjoy it together.