| Mar 29, 2023

Sandals South Coast helps to instil a passion for education with literacy competition

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes
(second left) O’Brian Heron, General Manager at Sandals South Coast, was pleased to share in the moment with the Inter-School Literacy competitors and teachers (Photo: Contributed).

Thirty students from seven institutions within the Whitehouse cluster participated in an Inter-Schools Literacy Competition hosted by Sandals South Coast.

Students from Peterville Basic, Beeston Spring Early Childhood Institute, Bluefields Basic School, Kings Primary and Infant, Whitehouse Early Childhood Institute, Kentucky Primary School and Culloden Infant School participated in the competition.

The initiative which is aimed at instilling a passion for literacy and learning at the earliest stage of the educational journey saw students competing in areas, such as picture-word association, comprehension, word recognition, letter sound and identification.

An attentive Jayquan Miller was immersed as judge Claudette Samuels guided him through the comprehension challenge (Photo: Contributed).

Anthony Kennedy, coordinator for the competition shared that though this was not its first staging and he has seen tremendous growth as it relates to the diversification of the event with the new competitive areas and the support from the schools and parents.

“I can truly say we have come a long way when it comes to the school involvement and the interest from the students who turn out to compete. The passion for learning and literacy is growing and this has always been the aim since the inception of this competition. I would like to express thanks to the Sandals South Coast team for seeing and joining  the vision that we have for the students within the Whitehouse cluster,” shared Kennedy.

(From left) Judges Yvonne Stephenson and Anthony Kennedy, shared they were impressed by a student of Whitehouse Early Childhood Institution, Daquan Laing’s knowledge in the Word Recognition segment (Photo: Contributed).

The fun-filled literacy competition not only allowed students to put their knowledge to the test but also a chance to connect with others from neighbouring schools.

The day-long event saw Culloden Infant School walking away with the overall win, Whitehouse Early Childhood copping second place and Peterville Basic School taking third place.

Expressing gratitude to the planning committee and Sandals South Coast for their dedication to fortifying the overall learning experience for the students, Romaine Poyser, a coach from the winning school, said that there has been a struggle with literacy in the schools and the competition has been a vehicle to drive change.

 Tevin Simpson, Assistant Learning and Development Manager at Sandals South Coast awards a beaming Abbigale Perry of Petersville Basic School with the second place prize for the Letter Sound and Identification Competition (Photo: Contributed).

“Literacy has been an area of weakness and a competition like this has enhanced the students’ skills in phonics awareness, sight-word vocabulary, reading comprehension and many other areas. With all the work done in preparation for the competition, I can attest that the students have been doing better in their classwork and have walked away more confident as a result of  the socialization aspect that was a major part of this experience,” a proud Poyser shared.

Meanwhile, Claudette Samuels, a retired teacher and one of the judges on the day said that this competition was not just an eye-opener for the students of the potential that they have, but also an indication that the teachers are doing the necessary work to build the future generation.

Vilma Smith, Environment, Health and Safety Manager at Sandals South Coast engages the competitors for the Inter-School Literacy Competition in a story time and motivational session (Photo: Contributed).

“It was a very productive day, I was impressed with the students who participated and as a teacher myself, I know that the teachers from participating schools have put in a lot of work to get the students ready. I want to say well done to Sandals South Coast for its continued involvement in the development of our nation’s children, we are in good hands based on what I’ve seen here today,” Samuels noted.

Second place winner in the letter-sound competition, Maurice Fraser of Bluefields Basic School, was elated to have placed on this day.

Sheree Reid, a teacher from Beeston Spring Early Childhood, playing a round of ring games with the students to shake their nervousness before their respective competitions (Photo: Contributed).

“I am happy because I came second in the competition and I got to spend time with my friends and make new ones today,” a beaming Fraser said.

The planning committee for the competition along with Sandals South Coast team expressed a desire to ensure the competition remains an annual event, as they reckoned that this initiative will transcend the competitive level and will have a more direct impact on the schools involved as they seek to broaden its scope. 


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