120 Teachers Targeted For Training To Address Learning Disorders

A total of 120 primary-school teachers in 75 schools across seven parishes will be trained and certified in the use of the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, in order to diagnose and correct various language-based learning disabilities in students. Story Highlights Under the six-month-long project, which is being funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) at a cost of $20.6 million, teachers will receive 350 hours of professional development training in the Lindamood-Bell Literacy Modules; 450 hours of professional development coaching; three years of ongoing instructional leadership development; and job-embedded coaching and teaching kits. A total of 120 primary-school teachers in 75 schools across seven parishes will be trained and certified in the use of the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, in order to diagnose and correct various language-based learning disabilities in students.Under the six-month-long project, which is being funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) at a cost of $20.6 million, teachers will receive 350 hours of professional development training in the Lindamood-Bell Literacy Modules; 450 hours of professional development coaching; three years of ongoing instructional leadership development; and job-embedded coaching and teaching kits.The training, which will be conducted by the Creative Language-Based Learning (CLBL) Foundation, is being financed under JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project and the Special Educator Needs Coordinator Phase Two.A four-week session was held in the summer where teachers benefited from intensive professional development in order to better enable them to support the students.Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, welcomed the initiative, noting that it has the potential to revolutionise the education sector in Jamaica.“When we have a creative learning-based platform that will assist children with learning disabilities, it is a win not just for the teachers, who are being trained, but it is a win for all our thousands of Jamaican children, who will now benefit from teachers who’ve educated themselves and gone through professional development,” he noted.Mr. Terrelonge was speaking at the contract-signing ceremony with CLBL representatives at JSIF’s headquarters in Kingston on Wednesday (September18).Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Michael Henry, in his remarks, said that the investment is a worthwhile one.He noted that while the programme is intended to treat with students who have learning disabilities, including dyslexia, its benefits will extend to the wider education sector. He urged parents to support the initiative.Meanwhile, JSIF’s Managing Director, Omar Sweeney, said that the agency is pleased to be associated with a project that is addressing a critical area of the education sector. He noted that 40 per cent of JSIF projects are in the area of education.“These sorts of innovative… experiential ways in which we can introduce methodologies to the mainstream is what we like to finance, and what we want to do from here on out is to continue to build from strength to strength.I’m sure that in the time to come, we will see the results of the students who have benefited from this programme,” he said.Director of Development at Lindamood-Bell, Dave Kiyvyra, said he hopes that the teachers will be positively impacted by the training.“Our goal, really, is to help teachers learn this sort of methodology so that they can use it all of the time when they’re teaching,” he said.“We know that through all of the research that’s been done at places like MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), University of Washington, and University of Alabama, Birmingham, when they do functional magnetic resonance images of students brains, what they’re seeing is that it’s actually changing how their brain is functioning and that pathways are connecting that previously were not connected,” he noted.The Lindamood-Bell programme, which was first taught to 50 teachers in Jamaica in 2017, was developed 30 years ago by Americans Patricia Lindamood, a speech language pathologist and Nanci Bell, a teacher and expert in literacy disorders.It is useful for children with dyslexia, hyperlexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), autism spectrum disorders and other learning difficulties, helping them to access the underlying cognitive functions they need in order to be able to read. The training, which will be conducted by the Creative Language-Based Learning (CLBL) Foundation, is being financed under JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project and the Special Educator Needs Coordinator Phase Two. read more

Two Water Shops Open in St Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth is the latest parish to benefit under the Government’s initiative to construct water shops as a way of addressing water shortage in parishes that traditionally suffer severe drought conditions. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, officially opened the two facilities on Thursday, (October 3). Residents of Top Hill and Retirement District in Malvern in St. Elizabeth, now have access to free potable water following the opening of two water shops in the areas.Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, officially opened the two facilities on Thursday, (October 3).St. Elizabeth is the latest parish to benefit under the Government’s initiative to construct water shops as a way of addressing water shortage in parishes that traditionally suffer severe drought conditions.The Top Hill facility was constructed at a cost of $8.9 million and will serve over 1500 residents in the community and its environs. The Retirement District Water Shop, was built at a cost of $9.7 million and will benefit of some 3000 residents.The facilities will each provide 16,000 gallons of purified water on a daily basis.  Speaking at the opening ceremony in Retirement District, Minister McKenzie, said four more water shops are to be constructed in St. Elizabeth.“Two more will be constructed and I hope that at least we can complete one more before the end of the calendar year. We are going down [to] Myersville and then we are going down to Tryall [District] in Junction with the other one,” Mr. McKenzie outlined.“[Also] …commencing next year, we will build two additional shops in Pedro Plains and Brompton. You are getting an additional two, to make six of these facilities spread across the parish in areas that desperately need water supply,” he added.  Mr. McKenzie also informed that some $24 million will be provided to the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, to purchase two new water trucks to service both water shops.He also urged the residents to protect the facilities, stating that “this is an investment that you have made because it is your property tax money that has been used to construct [the facilities].”Meanwhile, resident of Malvern, Isolyn Daley, told JIS News that the water shop could not have come at a better time because “the people from around that section of Retirement, they don’t have a tank and now whenever they want water they can come here.”Top Hill resident, Marilyn Thomas, also lauded the Government for the water shop concept. She said the facility is a wonderful addition to the community that is often plagued by drought conditions.  “This is very good, very nice. We [are] always looking [for] water. I feel happy about it for [now], we can get our water to drink,” she indicated.The construction of the two water shops, makes it five such facilities opened by the Ministry in recent years. Two water shops are currently in operation in Manchester, while the other is located in Clarendon. Story Highlights Residents of Top Hill and Retirement District in Malvern in St. Elizabeth, now have access to free potable water following the opening of two water shops in the areas. read more