Elim Early Childhood Institution – Jamaica

Elim Early Childhood Institution is a basic school in Jamaica that teaches students ranging from ages 3 to 5 years old. 

Elim Early Childhood Institution is located in the parish of St. Elizabeth, which is one of the poorest of Jamaica’s 14 parishes.  The literacy rate for the village of Elim has been estimated to be about 2% for adults aged 18 to 45 years old.

In the summer of 2011, the Jamaican government built a new basic schoolhouse next door to the building that previously housed the school.  The The new Basic School opened in September 2011 and is now the pride and joy of the Elim community.  It is the first new building built in Elim in over 30 years.

Elim is a very poor farming community.  The Basic School does not provide lunch, so the children must bring their own lunch to school everyday.  Parents who cannot afford to pack lunch for their children on any given day often keep them at home, which results in poor school attendance.  In Elim, some children only attend classes 2 or 3 days a week.

Samantha (Sammi) Travis, a Peace Corps Volunteer from Allison Park, PA,  is  committed to empowering the children of Elim. 

She is currently in talks with the Jamaica Ministry of Education in an effort to obtain free or heavily subsidized school lunches for the children of Elim.  Sammi is also working to help raise the literacy rate of Elim.  She teaches literacy to children of all ages in her own backyard and will soon move these classes to the site of the previous Basic School.

 The new Basic School has approximately 30 books in its current library.  Many of the 30 are on their “last legs” and will soon be cut into scraps for use in various creative arts projects.  Sammi has about 20 books at her home that she uses as a second library for the children.  Children sign their names to check out these books and return them when they are finished reading them.  At the end of Sammi’s Peace Corps service (May 2012) she will donate the 20 books to the new Basic School. 

The IACL believes that a quality education is a powerful tool that can liberate children and their families from poverty.  The IACL, Sammi and the local community of Elim are partnering together to: (1) establish a proper library for the children of Elim; (2) provide teachers in Elim with educational materials to help their students practice the skills they learn in the classroom; and (3) provide the students of Elim with hundreds of desperately needed school supplies. 

To find out more about the IACL’s support of Literacy Initiatives in Jamaica, please visit our website.

Explore posts in the same categories: Basic School, Books, Caribbean, Charity, Children, Donation, Education, Jamaica, Library, literacy, Non-Profit, Partnership, Peace Corps, Primary School, Read, Reading, School Supplies


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