Educate a poor Jamaican child

by Christel House International
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Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Educate a poor Jamaican child
Students at their new bus stop.
Students at their new bus stop.

Parents of Christel House students in one Jamaica neighborhood have banded together to improve their area. Working with community members, the Christel House parents cleaned up their neighborhood. Then they got creative, painting a special Christel House Jamaica Bus Stop for their children.

The community cleanup is part of the parent program that has been introduced at Christel House Jamaica. Jason Scott, Principal of Christel House Jamaica says parental involvement is important. “I have emphasized at all intervals, how critical the parent/school relationship is, to the success of any institution, no matter the level,” he says. “When parents show ownership for an institution, many obstacles are removed from school growth. Parents instill in their children the respect for the institution and the individuals who work there.” Scott says connecting with parents and emphasizing the positive is key to motivating and developing an appreciation of the opportunity presented for their family with Christel House. “Our numbers continue to grow in the area of parent volunteerism, boosted by the efforts of the Social Services Department,” Scott says. “We continue to see real interest in the work and mission of Christel House Jamaica.”

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Kumar (left) won national honors for storytelling.
Kumar (left) won national honors for storytelling.

Christel House Jamaica (CHJ) students have been awarded national honors in categories of music, speech, and drama. The CHJ Tablet Band’s musical performance of “One Love in the 21st Century” won the National Award for Excellence in Musicianship while 2nd grader Kumar W. (pictured with CHJ supporter Archana Gidda Bailey) was judged Best Storyteller. “Kumar was celebrated for his performance,” says Vivien Morris, CHJ Speech, Drama and Visual Arts teacher. He was also honored for Best Speech Overall for his Jamaican folktale, “Anancy and Hog,”and for Best Male Costume. “Amazingly this was his very first effort on a performing arts stage.” Morris adds Kumar has inspired his classmates. “I am really proud of him. This is only the beginning for a child like Kumar.”

The CHJ Tablet Band includes six student members, from kindergarten through 3rd grade – Aaron S., Christoya S., Rojay R., Kahelle T., Sasharie C., and Yacoyio C. CHJ Music Facilitator, Dalton Spence, says his students were inspired by Jamaican athletes winning gold medals at last summer’s Olympics. “I told them that there is greatness in you, too,” he shares. “You can accomplish great things and you can win medals, just like them – if you are willing to work hard.” The children were committed, rehearsing during holidays and Saturdays. “And now, 11 months later, they are national champions in music!” Spence notes that parental involvement was important to the children’s success. “I developed a strong partnership with the parents and let them realize that this requires a team effort between parents and teacher.” Spence is proud of what his students accomplished. “I know I have taught them a valuable life skill,” he says, “that will help them to be successful not only in music but other areas of their life.”

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Dalton Spence, inspires children through music.
Dalton Spence, inspires children through music.

What's the best way to teach classroom rules to youngsters? For Dalton Spence, Christel House Jamaica music facilitator, it’s as simple as creating a fun and catchy tune. “There are two main things that are important for the proper running of my music class,” says Spence. “Students need to respect each other and listen to each other.” Being a music teacher, he created a song about the classroom rules and found the children enjoyed it so much they would happily sing along. “It was important not to name them “rules” so I titled the song “How To Be Amazing!” Spence believes in his students. “I use music to develop in them this attitude which I believe will make them successful in any area or subject they will undertake,” he says. He’s proud of the success at Christel House. “In all my years of teaching, I must say Christel House really provides a great learning environment for our most vulnerable Jamaican children.”    


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Students will be seeing green fields in Jamaica.
Students will be seeing green fields in Jamaica.

Students at the newest Christel House will be seeing green as part of the Jamaican Government’s initiative to save the environment. During a site assessment, Jamaica’s Forestry Department outlined a plan to add grass and trees around the new school. Hon. Sally Porteous, CEO, is pleased.  “Christel House Jamaica is thrilled to be a part of this important exercise.” The trees and greenery are part of a Jamaica National Tree Planting Initiative to plant 3 million trees in three years. A local agricultural store, HiPro, is donating the seeds to add grass to bare areas following the construction of the school. While the school is getting upgrades, the Kindergarten to Grade 3 students continue with their classes. Porteous is proud of the students and says the children are very happy and comfortable in their new school. “By and large, they are doing really well.”

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Students arrive at Christel House Jamaica.
Students arrive at Christel House Jamaica.

As students return to Christel House Jamaica (CHJ) for in-person classes, plans are underway to offer skills training opportunities for their parents. And parents are excited about the possibilities.

“The program is part of a collaborative initiative with the Jamaica Human Employment and Resource Training Trust/National Training Agency,” according to Tracey Ann Anderson, CHJ Principal. “This will provide sustainable outcomes for the community and the country in general.” Parents are enthusiastically signing up for the skills training program. The agency will perform an applicant assessment to determine qualifications for plumbing, construction, and other jobs. “Since some parents cannot read, they’ll have the opportunity to enter a high school equivalent program,” says Anderson. “They will be able to take classes for basic reading and writing before they matriculate into the skills training area of the program.” After only one year, Anderson can see the tremendous impact Christel House is having in Jamaica. Students are learning and parents are engaging with the school. “We provide a safe and caring environment where the children can be afforded a quality education and other social and emotional support that will help break the cycle of poverty.”

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Organization Information

Christel House International

Location: Indianapolis, IN - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @christelhouse
Project Leader:
Bobbi Bosch
Indianapolis, IN United States
$5,277 raised of $20,000 goal
 
94 donations
$14,723 to go
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