School’s literacy programme gets cash injection

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The Princess Margaret Secondary School’s Literacy Centre got a $53,000 boost in the form of a grant from the Ascension Trust through the Antigua and Barbuda High Commissioner to the UK, Karen-Mae Hill.
Dana James, head of the school’s English department, said yesterday that literacy is required to negotiate a curriculum.
“Sweeping assumptions can no longer be made, and students who demonstrate acute deficiencies in literacy can no longer be ignored and marginalized,” James said.
She noted that the literacy centre was established to cater to the emerging needs of students who require assistance with reading and writing while aiding teachers in addressing those needs.
James thanked Hill and Sir Mark Moody Stuart who provided the money through Trust. She acknowledged the work of Hill who secured the funding, particularly during harsh economic times, when schools are often underfunded.
Before teachers can predict a student’s success, James said, teachers must assess the literacy status of students, which is critical to the equation of learning and academic advancement.
To boost the programme, laptops for the Literacy Centre and audio and visual equipment will be purchased with the funding.
Hill challenged the students to exploit their opportunities to excel because, “all can learn…all can achieve.”
Colin Greene, principal of PMS, said that when the government converted public schools to universal education, it highlighted a flaw the school quickly rectified using its own resources; however, there still is room for improvement.
“Schools had to accommodate a different kind of student and to provide what is needed to advance their education. Differentiated instructions became a critical part of the school’s curriculum offerings under the goal that the school had to reach every child to make them functional, and literacy is a critical part of that endeavor,” he said.
Greene noted that the ability to read, understand and communicate is the cornerstone upon which education was built.
The aims and objectives of PMS literacy programme is to strengthen student literacy skills in reading, writing and comprehension, provide support to regular classroom teachers, and to motivate students to become proficient readers and writers.

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