Having started its rollout in a few schools in August, other schools within Jamaica’s wider early childhood education system will now have access to the Graphogame literacy app.
Developed by linguists, neuropsychologists and speech pathologists from the Finland-based Grapho Group after 25 years of research, Graphogame is now said to be the most-researched educational game, with proven efficacy in achieving basic literacy, equal to one-to-one teacher support, among children in the 4-9 age group.
The game has been used in Finland for the past 10 years, and has subsequently been adopted in the United States and other countries, with impressive results.
The app is a gift to Jamaican school children from Winsome Wishes for KIDS (WWKIDS) in New York, with the assistance of the United States-based Windward Institute.
In Jamaica, the Issa Foundation has partnered with WWKIDS for the app rollout and an attendant nationwide awareness campaign.
“The pilot rollout in Jamaica has demonstrated that this app can play a very important role in bridging gaps in our early childhood education system, which are now widening as a result of COVID-19,” said Simone Sobers, founder of WWKIDS.
“It is interactive, intuitive and user friendly, and best of all, it is free. Once downloaded, it can be played without connectivity and data, which is significant at a time when children may have increased access to devices through several governmental and private sector initiatives, but still lack connectivity and have no access to data.”
The Issa Trust Foundation has expressed excitement at the rollout of the Graphogame in Jamaica.
“This initiative is in clear alignment with our mission of community-building, providing resources for children to have access to education and promoting and improving health care and other services that increase the well-being and development of Jamaica,” said Diane Pollard, President and CEO of the Issa Trust Foundation.
“We are eager to get it in the hands of all children, because we know that education is the foundation on which they will build the rest of their lives. We are happy to play a part in ensuring that this foundation is secure.”
The Graphogame app will be available as a free-to-download application in Jamaica, on iOS, Microsoft and Android App Stores, starting in October. The donation of the app is a continuation of the work that WWKIDS has been doing in Jamaica over the last 18 months, which includes virtual workshops for teachers in Jamaica, and the donation of devices to schools and children in need.