FAQs


1. What is Crayons Count?

Crayons Count is a project of Do Good Jamaica.  It is campaign to support early childhood education. It is a movement.  As such by definition of being a movement, it seeks to engage the widest cross section of stakeholders for that is the only way true meaningful and sustainable change in early childhood will be achieved. To preserve the integrity of the movement that is first and foremost for children, Crayons Count is a registered trademark of Do Good Jamaica, a registered NGO.

 

2. Why support early childhood education?

Research has proven that the best investment to make in the life of a child is during the early childhood years. It is during this time that children develop physical, emotional, social and cognitive skills.  These are the foundation years where children develop a sense of self, master basic movement, learn about social relations, learn communication and basic language skills, learn about quantity and number concepts, develop an understanding of space and time, learn about the physical world by exploring etc..  Every level of education – primary, secondary, tertiary – builds on the early childhood foundation.

Documented benefits of investing in early childhood education include higher educational attainment, and social benefits such as reduced crime, violence and incarceration rates, reduced dependence on social services and reduced teen pregnancy.  According to the 2006 Perry High Scope study, “Each US$1 invested in early childhood development yields a cumulative economic return to society of US$17, a better return than any stock investment with US$12 directly benefiting the public. Of the public return: 88% came from crime savings, 4% from education, 7% from increased taxes paid on higher earnings and 1% from welfare savings”

Crayons Count, as a campaign to support early childhood education, is an investment in Jamaica’s socio-economic development on a national scale for the benefit for all Jamaicans.

 

3. What are the objectives of Crayons Count?

The objectives of Crayons Count are to:

  1. Provide recommended learning tools to all early childhood institutions (i.e. basic and infant schools) in Jamaica
  2. Increase awareness of the importance of early childhood education and good early childhood practices

Since inception, we have met these objectives in a number of ways (outlined below).  All our activities have contributed in some way to improving the quality of the learning experience for the children.  Building on our evolution, in 2016, Crayons Count has a pilot project in the greater Treasure Beach community to help early childhood institutions meet all twelve (12) Early Childhood Commission (ECC) standards to become certified. This is a partnership of Do Good Jamaica and Breds Treasure Beach Foundation, working with the ECC.

 

4. What has Crayons Count achieved?

Crayons Count has:

  1. Provided a full page of curriculum based activities for children – with tips for parents, caregivers and teachers – in the Saturday Gleaner every Saturday since February 2012
  2. Provided recommended learning tools to all early childhood institutions (with children aged 3-6 years) that have applied for registration with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), as per the law. Impact:  Approximately 2,500 institutions and 125,000 children have benefited every year
  3. Conducted workshops for 2,698 early childhood teachers to help them use the donated learning tools to meet curriculum objectives
  4. Designed and conducted a successful summer school program every summer since 2013 to work one-on-one with children on those aspects of the curriculum that address manners, social skills, cooperation etc.
  5. Participated in and hosted a number of events with children, parents, schools and communities to increase awareness of the importance of early childhood institutions and good early childhood practices
  6. Increased awareness of the importance of early childhood education and good early childhood practices through the support of the media (articles, coverage, PSAs etc.), tips on the Saturday Gleaner page, branded National bread bags and vehicles and other events.

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5. How is Crayons Count funded?

Modeled on the successful Guinness World Record Book Drive initiative led by our founder, Crayons Count solicited the broadest support from all stakeholders – companies, organizations, foundations, the diaspora, the public – here and abroad – for this early childhood movement. All stakeholders were invited to do whatever they could for the movement.  See list of sponsors and partners here (http://dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount/sponsors-partners/).  The vast majority of support has been provided in-kind. Do Good Jamaica has never had any written arrangement with any entity to provide ongoing support to Crayons Count. The administrative costs associated with Crayons Count are covered by Mdk Advisory and Consulting Ltd, the consulting company of the founders.  Our KPMG audited accounts for Do Good Jamaica are available on request.

 

6. Who has supported Crayons Count?

The Crayons Count campaign was launched in 2011 with no corporate sponsors at the All Ivy Annual Christmas Cocktails.

It was officially launched in 2012 designed to solicit the broadest possible support which it received from foundations (Digicel Foundation, Sandals Foundation, Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation, Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, Usain Bolt Foundation, GraceKennedy Foundation), the private sector, the US Embassy in Jamaica, schools, the Diaspora, friends of Jamaica and Jamaicans overseas, the general public and all media.  Support has taken the form of the provision of materials, funds to purchase materials in bulk at preferential prices and, of critical importance, assistance with the awareness campaign.

Kellie Magnus, the publisher of Jackmandora and a member of the board of the ECC, came up with the idea that the best way to widely provide curriculum-appropriate early childhood content is through the newspaper and The Gleaner willingly embraced the idea. Jackmandora has provided content for free since The Saturday Gleaner page was launched in February 2012.   The Gleaner has carried the full cost of the Saturday Page since February 2016 having carried more than 80% of the cost for every year prior (less than 20% provided by National Baking Company for four years).  The Gleaner also provided paper for all the kits at a subsidized cost matched by donations from the public.  The Gleaner has also been instrumental in the awareness campaign by publishing a series of articles on the importance of early childhood education and dedicating editorial space to the cause.

The US Embassy in Jamaica has provided learning tools and teacher training with international experts like the Ooey Gooey Lady and INSIGHTS. Crayons Count began teacher training in Jamaica with the support of the US Embassy.

Books for the Crayons Count Learning Kits have been provided by The CHASE Fund (2012), Price Philanthropies (2013, 2014, 2015) and The American Friends of Jamaica (2015)

Learning tools were imported via Food For The Poor (USA) and Food For The Poor (Jamaica), transported and stored via Zoukie Trucking, packed in AMG boxes and sealed with 3M tape.

For four years, National Baking Company Ltd. supported Crayons Count via:

  • Donation of learning tools – with the exception of paper and books in 2013, 2014 and 2015. (Note: In 2012, the vast majority of learning tools were donated by National while the public, foundations, the private sector and the US Embassy donated hundreds of items for the kits)
  • Packing and distribution of all learning tools every year island-wide by National Bakery staff
  • Minor contribution to the sponsorship of the Saturday Gleaner Crayons Count page providing the curriculum every week since February 2012
  • Providing a fully maintained state-of-the-art mobile classroom – the Crayons Count Learning Lorry
  • Support for awareness through branded vehicles and bread bags
  • Support for the Crayons Count early childhood teacher consultant, administration and special events

Just after the distribution of the 2015 Crayons Count Learning Kits, National Baking Company ceased supporting Crayons Count.  Via a contractual agreement between National Baking Company and The Gleaner Company, their pre-paid contribution to the Saturday Page expired in February 2016. Do Good Jamaica, and by extension our project Crayons Count, has never had a written agreement of any form with National Baking Company.

 

7.  What has made Crayons Count unique?

There is no other program in Jamaica or the rest of the world like Crayons Count.  While there are many initiatives that support early childhood education and development, Crayons Count is the only one that:

  1. Has provided the same highest quality brand new learning tools to every single early childhood institution in a country. All early childhood institutions – rural, urban, uptown, downtown etc. – receive the exact same tools at the same time every year.
  2. Was the FIRST to provide the curriculum in a major newspaper every single week to enable the greatest access to curriculum appropriate resources abd is the only program to have done so every single week for almost five (5) years
  3. Has provided access to teacher training for all teachers through a mobile classroom that travels island-wide to help teachers to use the donated learning tools to meet curriculum objectives
  4. Has a distinct pilot program to help early childhood institutions become certified that is intended to be a model for other communities to do the same as well as inform the regulators in real time about the journey to certification experience in order for practical solutions to be implemented islandwide.

8.   Who benefits from Crayons Count?

Crayons Count is focused on the early childhood age group (ages 0-8).  While the learning tools are for age 3-6 and impact approximately 125,000 children in the schools system, the Saturday Gleaner page is designed for children up to the age of 8 and is widely distributed island-wide making all early childhood children in Jamaica beneficiaries of the Crayons Count campaign.

The teacher training program provided workshops for all early childhood teachers that would like to attend and targets at least one teacher at each institution.  The broader awareness campaign is designed for parents, teachers and caregivers as we help to raise the level of understanding of the importance of early childhood education in Jamaica. The pilot project will share models of community building, partnership and stakeholder engagement while helping the regulators understand the challenges early childhood institutions face in the journey to certification as they seek to find realistic solutions for the entire early childhood sector to achieve our shared objective of achieving quality early childhood education and development.

All of Jamaica benefits from Crayons Count.

 

9.   What are recommended learning tools?

The ECC has provided a list of recommended learning tools for all early childhood institutions.  Recommended learning tools are safe, age-appropriate, non-toxic items used by children to help them meet curriculum objectives such as literacy, numeracy, social skills, creativity, gross motor skills, fine motor skills etc.

The Crayons Count Learning Kit was developed with the guidance of the ECC and each kit contains the following 13 categories of items:

 

Crayons Paper Puppets Play dough
Books Manipulatives Blocks
Balls Paint Glue sticks
Puzzles Paintbrushes Scissors

 

To find out more about how the learning tools help to meet educational and developmental objectives as per the curriculum, please visit this link on the Crayons Count website: http://dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount/our-mission/tools/

 

10.  What has Crayons Count donated by year?

The table below provides an itemization of donations by year.

2012 2013 2014 2015 (expected)[1]
Thousands of items donated through drives plus

648,000 crayons

54,000 tubs of paint

32,400 puppets

21,600 paintbrushes

21,600 glue sticks

12,000 puzzles

10,800 tubs of Play Doh

10,800 pairs of scissors

5,400 balls

2,700 packs of lacing tools

2,700 shape sorters

2,700 wooden shape blocks

2,700 ABC, 123 blocks

2,700 peg and pegboard sets

2,700 stackers

2,1600,000 pages of paper

Books from CHASE and the public

648,000 crayons

54,000 tubs of paint

32,400 puppets

21,600 paintbrushes

21,600 glue sticks

12,000 puzzles

10,800 tubs of Play Doh

10,800 pairs of scissors

5,400 balls

3,000 packs of lacing tools

3,000 shape sorters

3,000 wooden shape blocks

3,000 ABC, 123 blocks

3,000 peg and pegboard sets

2,400,000 pages of paper

5,230 books

Crayons Count Curriculum Guide

648,000 crayons

64,800 tubs of paint

36,000 puppets

21,600 paintbrushes

21,600 glue sticks

12,000 puzzles

12,000 tubs of Play Doh

10,800 pairs of scissors

5,400 balls

3,000 lacing and shapes manipulatives (Primer Pack)

3,000 ABC blocks

3,000 I23 blocks

3,000 peg and pegboard sets

2,400,000 pages of paper

8,911 books

Crayons Count Curriculum Guide

 

642,000 crayons

16,050 canisters of paint (bigger sizes)

25,600 puppets

21,400 paintbrushes

21,600 glue sticks

12,800 tubs of Play Doh

10,700 pairs of scissors

5,350 balls

3,200 number puzzle/peg sets

3,200 ABC/123 blocks

3,200 wooden shape blocks

3,200 number lacing beads

3,200 sets of laces

2,560,000 pages of paper

9,600 books

*Math Workbooks

 

11.  How many Crayons Count Learning Kits did each early childhood institution receive?

The average Crayons Count Learning Kit contains items in quantities for 60 children to share (as designed by the ECC).  Each early childhood institution received learning tools according to enrollment.  For example, an institution with 120 students enrolled would receive 2 Crayons Count Learning Kits.

 

12.   Which early childhood institutions received Crayons Count Learning Kits?

Every single early childhood institution, with children aged 3-6 years that has met the legislative requirement to apply for registration with the ECC in order to operate,  has received Crayons Count Learning Kits according to enrollment.  There is no application process to receive Crayons Count Learning Kits.  The list of institutions and the enrollment figures are provided by the ECC.  As such, every single early childhood institution operating in Jamaica should have received Crayons Count Learning Kits once they have met the legislative requirement to operate.

 

13.    How many early childhood institutions received Crayons Count Learning Kits? How many children benefit?

 There are approximately 2,500 early childhood institutions in Jamaica with approximately 125,000 children aged 3-6 enrolled.   To see a sample of thank you letters, please visit this link on Crayons Count website: http://dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount/about-us/thank-you/

 

14. Where can I find the list of early childhood institutions that have received Crayons Count kits?
The list of recipient institutions can be found on the Crayons Count website here:  http://dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount/recipient-schools/

 

15.  How many years have early childhood institutions received Crayons Count Learning Kits?

Crayons Count Learning Kits have been provided to all early childhood institutions in September 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.  In 2016, Crayons Count did not provide learning kits.

 

16.  What was the Crayons Count Learning Lorry?

The Crayons Count Learning Lorry was a state-of-the-art mobile classroom with magnetic white boards, audio-visual equipment, its own generator and bathroom and  that was stocked with the recommended learning tools donated in the Crayons Count Learning Kits.  The mobile classroom is the property of National Baking Company that was developed to support the Crayons Count program. In August 2015, the Crayons Count Learning Lorry ceased operating.

The Learning Lorry by the sea side, we're on our way

17. What was the Crayons Count Learning Lorry used for?

The Crayons Count Learning Lorry was used primarily for teacher workshops designed to help teachers use the donated learning tools to meet curriculum objectives. With a dedicated early childhood teacher consultant, the Learning Lorry conducted teacher training workshops island-wide.  The Learning Lorry was scheduled to go to schools three (3) days a week and provides workshops for approximately 60-72 teachers per week.   The Learning Lorry was also used for events for children and parents.

 

18.  How many teachers has Crayons Count facilitated workshops for?

2,768 teachers in every parish.

In August 2012, 70 teachers (5 in each parish) attended workshops featuring INSIGHTS (thanks to the support of the US Embassy).  In August 2013, 560 teachers participated in workshops with the Ooey Gooey Lady (brought to Jamaica by the US Embassy) in Kingston and Montego Bay over 2 days.  In the academic year 2013/2014, 1,169 teachers were trained in the Crayons Count Learning Lorry in Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Thomas, St. Mary and Portland.  In the academic year 2014/2015, 969 teachers were trained in the Crayons Count Learning Lorry in Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, Trelawny, St. James and St. Ann.

 

19.  Can someone volunteer for Crayons Count?

Absolutely.  Volunteers are welcome and are an integral part of our outreach and awareness effort.  Sign up on Facebook, email info@dogoodjamaica.org or contact the Do Good Jamaica office and speak with the Crayons Count Volunteer Coordinator, Shahri Miller.

 

20.   How to find out more or support Crayons Count?

Additional information can be found at crayonscount.org or dogoodjamaica.org/crayonscount

Connect with us on Facebook at Crayons Count and on Twitter @CrayonsCount

To donate to Crayons Count, please contact Do Good Jamaica, 29 Munroe Road, Kingston 6, (876) 970-4108 or donate online at foodforthepoor.org/crayonscount