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Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise: Swallowfield Learning Center (Jamaica)

May 3, 2015

rcnsbannerDevelopment of the Swallowfield Children Learning Centre

Rotary Club of New Kingston, Jamaica, W.I.

2011-2014

MAJOR PARTNERS

1. Rotaract Club of New Kingston

2. Swallowfield Chapel

3. St John Ambulance

BACKGROUND

In 2005 the Rotary Club of New Kingston launched a Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) project in the Swallowfield community in collaboration with the Swallowfield Chapel. Swallowfield is a poor community of Kingston which from time to time experiences upsurges in violence including gun violence. The chapel is a focal point in the community which is involved in affecting social change in the community in addition to its religious responsibilities. GSAT is the examination which children of around 11 years old sit to determine which high school they will be placed in. Higher scores in GSAT translate into placement in the favoured high schools. The project has enjoyed major success and challenges over these years and is now in need of strengthening and repositioning.

The current GSAT centre host about 45 children ages (3 – 16) for classes each week; however, early in the project it was recognized that a severe challenge to success of the project was literacy. Children were reading far below their grade levels and several students in the GSAT classes could not understand the instructions given. Furthermore, as news of the centre spread children who were younger and older than GSAT ages from several communities other than Swallowfield started to attend weekly. The centre has become a focal point for pre-GSAT, GSAT and post GSAT children and the teaching and learning priorities have changed.

Based of the recommendation of the Rotaract Club of New Kingston, which has led activities at the GSAT centre, we propose that a comprehensive Children Learning Centre be developed for the Swallowfield community.

Rationale for Development of the Swallowfield Children Learning Centre

The Rotaractors, based on their experience with this project have concluded that there is an urgent need for social intervention in the community for the following reasons :

the level of violence is increasing;

the behaviour of the children is often not conducive to teaching and learning and there is need for remedial intervention in literacy and possibly numeracy ; 2 due to the wide spread in the ages (3-16 years) of the children attending the centre a one size fits all approach cannot be taken.

An excellent opportunity exists for collaboration with St John Ambulance for the training of children of all ages in First AID. Training in First AID has been shown to be a life changing experience since it equips children (and adults) with essential life saving skills. There are several instances in which children trained in First AID have saved the lives of victims of accident and violence. Persons trained in stopping bleeding and saving lives will be less prone to violent behaviour.

The children at the Centre are currently involved in sports through the Boys Club and Girls Club associated with the church. These activities can be enhanced through volunteer coaches, training in First Aid skills and the provision of first aid equipment.

AIM

The overall aim of the project is to develop a Learning Centre for children ages 3-16 in Swallowfield, which addresses their educational, social and spiritual needs.

OBJECTIVES

1. Literacy and Scholastic training

a. Assess the literacy levels of all children in the Centre

b. 70% of children to be reading at their grade level by the end of Year 1

c. 100% of children to be reading at their grade level by the end of Year 2

d. Increase passes at GSAT to traditional high school from 0 to 50% by end of YR 1

e. Increase passes at GSAT to traditional high school to 70% by end of YR 2

2. Social skills

a. Increase resiliency of children to violence and destructive behaviour through First AID training.

i. 50% of children certified as First AIDERS by the end of Year 1

ii. 100% of children certified as First AIDERS by end of YR 2

iii. 100% receive conflict resolution training

b. Develop teamwork through sports

i. Identify volunteer sport personalities to teach sports

c. Increase cognitive and social skills through chess

i. 100% of student involved in learning chess by end of Year 1

d. Teaching of social skills

i. At least one educational field trip per year

ii. At least four movie days per year

iii. Christmas party

3

3. Spiritual development

This will be the responsibility of Swallowfield Chapel

METHODOLOGY

1. Literacy and Scholastic training

A reading specialist will be hired to assess the literacy levels of all children in the Centre. The Specialist will assist volunteers in the delivery of reading lessons. Furthermore, a GSAT tutor will be hired to deal specifically with that cohort and also to train volunteers in delivering GSAT material.

Ten personal computers and 40 licences for Computer-Assisted Literacy Solution (CALS) provided to clubs through Rotary International.

Each child will be supplied with learning materials as necessary (books, erasers, pencil, crayon etc) and the facilities at the centre will be upgraded for teaching (white boards, erasers, and pens).

2. Social skills

First AID training

St John Ambulance will conduct 90 minute training sessions in First AID after scholastic activities at the Centre. St John will provide a single trainer who will train all volunteers (Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Church volunteers) in First AID and these persons will act as mentors during the training of the children.

Chess lessons

Liguanea Chess Club will provide a teacher for each week at a cost of $5000.00/week. The coach will train older children to act as mentors for the younger ones.

Teaching of social norms and mores

Children will be taken on at least one education field trip per year under the supervision of the volunteers and parents. These trips will be sponsored and focussed on Jamaica’s rich history and culture and on career opportunities. Movie days will involve the showing of DVDs in –house.

Develop teamwork through sports

The club will invite volunteer coaches to give lessons in techniques in soccer and other sports currently played by the children. Furthermore, well known sports personalities will be asked to give motivational talks to the children at the Centre.

3. Spiritual development

This will be the responsibility of Swallowfield Chapel

CHALLENGES

a. Funding

Currently, there is no systematic method of funding the project. The Rotary Club of New Kingston will apply for a matching grant to support the project.

b. Volunteers

Members of the Rotary Club of New Kingston have not consistently supported the project by acting as teachers and mentors. This has resulted in undue burden on the Rotaractors; it follows therefore that the network of volunteers should be expanded.

c. Social conditions of the community and family support.

5

8. Proposed Financing

MG application #

Country:

Please list all financing and indicate Cash or Share (DDF) amounts.

US$ Cash US$ DDF* DRFC Name / Signature* Host Country Rotary Clubs/Districts

New Kingston D-7020

$ 1,900

$ 5,550

Total Host Country Contributions $ 7,450 35% International Rotary Clubs/Districts

Other MG Club & District DDF

$ 6,000

$ 8,000

Total International Contributions $ 14,000 65% Total Contributions $ 7,900 $ 13,550 $ 21,450 100% TRF Award Amount (50% Cash, 100% DDF) 3,950 13,550 17,500 Total Matching Grant Funding $ 38,950 Funding from other sources**

– Total Project Funding (must be equal to Budget) $ 38,950

If SHARE District Designated Funds (DDF) are part of the funding for this Matching Grant,

have the Chair of the District Rotary Foundation Committee (DRFC) sign above, or have

the DRFC Chair submit a letter authorizing their use. Only the chair, on behalf of the DRFC,

can authorize the use of SHARE DDF.

**

Please identify the source of other funding.

6

8. Proposed Financing

MG application #

Country:

Please list all financing and indicate Cash or Share (DDF) amounts.

US$ Cash US$ DDF* DRFC Name / Signature*

Host Country Rotary Clubs/Districts

New Kingston Rotary Club

$ 2,500

$ 7,675

Total Host Country Contributions $ 10,175 49%

International Rotary Clubs/Districts

$ 3,000

$ 7,675

Total International Contributions $ 10,675 51%

Total Contributions $ 5,500 $ 15,350 $ 20,850 100%

TRF Award Amount (50% Cash, 100% DDF) 2,750 15,350 18,100

Total Matching Grant Funding $ 38,950

Funding from other sources**

Total Project Funding (must be equal to Budget) $ 38,950

*

If SHARE District Designated Funds (DDF) are part of the funding for this Matching Grant,

have the Chair of the District Rotary Foundation Committee (DRFC) sign above, or have

the DRFC Chair submit a letter authorizing their use. Only the chair, on behalf of the DRFC,

can authorize the use of SHARE DDF.

**

Please identify the source of other funding

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