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Jarecki family foundation & Guana Island partner to provide laptop computer tech programme for local students

45 new laptop computers to be provided to two middle school classes at Elmore Stoutt High School, Experts in education and technology to visit BVI for teacher training and student engagement sesions. Initiative aims to enhance computer literacy and academ
May 19th, 2015 | Tags:
Photo: VINO/File
EAST END, Tortola, VI – Jarecki Family Foundation (JFF) and Guana Island, with the dedicated assistance of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), today announced a new initiative that will provide access to new laptop computers to each of 45 students in two middle school groups at Elmore Stoutt High School in Road Town.

The Foundation has also arranged for a site visit by Dr. Maneka Brooks, Assistant Professor of Reading Education at Texas State University, and her husband, software engineer Carlos Anguiano, who will provide hands-on training sessions for teachers as well as volunteer teaching sessions with students.

Commenting on the program, YEP Executive Director Stacy Mather said, “We live in a technology driven world. The youth of the BVI must be adept at the use of computers if they are to succeed in today’s global economy. Integrating computers into the school environment has been shown to be an effective way to not only enhance students’ computer skills, but also improve the learning experience generally, leading to improved academic achievement.”

Under the new initiative, JFF and Guana Island will provide access to 45 new laptops to the two middle school groups.  CCT has graciously agreed to partner and will contribute 24-hour Internet access to the participating teachers and students within the school and, for some children, also at home.

Starting May 18, Dr. Brooks and Mr. Anguiano will visit the BVI to offer training and education sessions. These activities will include an intensive session with teachers to train them on how to integrate the laptops into the existing curriculum and learning program. In addition, Dr. Brooks and Mr. Anguiano will participate in a volunteer day with the students of the two targeted groups, providing direct instruction to them on how to get the most from their technology. There will be follow-up visits starting in the fall and throughout the next academic year to ensure programmatic success and track student progress.

“A laptop computer can be a powerful educational tool,” noted Dr. Brooks. “But technology by itself is not sufficient. These tools need to be incorporated into the educational process, and teachers and students need to become comfortable with how to integrate them into the classroom experience. When done right, research shows that the introduction of technology can spur meaningful improvements in academic outcomes, along with the expected improvements in computer literacy.”

The launch of this initiative further extends the mission of JFF and YEP, which have both undertaken a wide range of activities over the past several years to expand opportunity for local youth.

“Nothing is more important than giving our young people the tools and opportunities they need to thrive,” said the Minister of Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn. “The partnership between JFF and Guana Island, along with the support provided by YEP and CCT, is a shining example of how to create that kind of opportunity for our youth. The entire BVI community is grateful for their investment, which will pay off for the entire Territory in the years to come.”

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