In September and October 2012, it was time to assemble the learning kits. The amazing staff of National Baking Co. volunteered time before and after their shifts.
For more photos of this incredible undertaking to pack 3,000 boxes with learning tools for basic school children, have a look at our Facebook album Crayons Count Kit Packing At National.
In October and November 2012, Crayons Count Learning Kits were distributed to the approximately 2,400 schools all over Jamaica thanks to National Baking Co. And for the first time in history, children all across Jamaica received standardized recommended learning tools to assist in their development.
2013 saw big plans for Crayons Count. Our first outing on March 12, 2013 saw Crayons Count on hand at the Caenwood Resource Centre to see the United States Embassy distributing Crayons Count tools to the grateful teachers who came from all over Jamaica to accept their learning kits for the school.
Crayons Count had more to reveal. On March 26, Crayons Count hosted its very first “Teachers, Tots and Tools” Interactive Learning Workshop with basic school teachers and students at the Caenwood Early Childhood Resource Center. The purpose was to show the teachers how to use the tools in the Crayons Count learning kit and include them into daily classroom sessions in a fun and educational way. The lesson, taught by workshop presenter, Shaanii-Grace Robinson took the children and teachers through a lesson tailor for a group of five year olds. The workshop was an absolute success with the children learning and having fun every step of the way.
The teachers at the workshop also benefited from a PowerPoint presentation with each slide focused on a specific Crayons Count tool and its development objectives, a discussion session and a learning kit filled with tools for their schools. It was indeed a great first.
For more about the first Teachers, Tots and Tools Workshop, have a look at our Facebook photo album here. To find out more details about the first Teachers, Tots and Tools Workshop, have a look at our blog post here.
Crayons Count also introduced a new feature in March 2013-the Crayons Count Blog. Filled with information and photos about Crayons Count and its amazing progress, the blog was and still is well received.
April 18 was a great day for Crayons Count and children everywhere. The Continental Baking Company also known as National Baking Co Ltd, a major sponsor of Crayons Count donated $50 million dollars to Crayons Count at an amazing press conference on the grounds of Hope Zoo.
National Baking Co Ltd also donated a brand new truck now famously titled the ‘Learning Lorry’. The Learning Lorry was revealed after speeches and presentations from Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, Deika Morrison and the Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites at the event. The need for more funding and awareness for early childhood education was the theme of the event and Deika Morrison emphasized the importance of investing in children now for greater rewards for Jamaica in the future.
The lorry is outfitted with Crayons Count tools and plans are underway to share the lorry with the children of Jamaica. National Baking Co Ltd once again, supporting the early childhood education cause.
For more about the $50 Million donation and the learning lorry, have a look at our Facebook photo album here. To find out more details about the National Baking Co Ltd amazing donations, have a look at our blog post here and also this article: National Pumps $50m Worth Of Colour Into Crayons Count
May 2013 was a busy time for Crayons Count as it was Child’s Month. Our first event was Read Across Jamaica Day on May 7th.
Happy faces and quick feet greeted the team as books and minds were open at the Sunrays Educational Centre. The smiles were hard to miss and the children were more than ready to pose for the camera. A donation of a supplemental kit was also given to the centre.
May 9th was another great day with the hosting of another ‘Teachers, Tots and Tools’ Interactive Learning Workshop at the Caenwood Early Childhood Resource Centre. This time, the lesson was aimed at using the learning tools with four year olds. A videographer from the Ministry of Education was there to record the day’s proceedings. The teachers at this session had a first view and tour of the amazing learning lorry.
The teachers had the floor and were actively involved in the discussion with Ms. Shaanii Grace-Robinson. The children used pegs, blocks, paint, crayons, play doh and puzzles.
Each participating school was given a supplemental kit at the end of the session which was greatly appreciated.
For more about Teachers, Tots and Tools- Four Year Olds, have a look at our Facebook photo album here. To find out more details about Teachers, Tots and Tools- Four Year Olds, have a look at our blog post here.
On May 11, 2013, we participated in the annual Nestle School Wellness Fiesta providing a space for children in the early childhood age group to use our learning tools.
On May 17, 2013 the we hosted another great Children’s Day with a new member of the team, the learning lorry. Held at the Shortwood Teachers College, the lorry was being used for the first time. Each infant class spent time in the lorry interacting with each tool. Teachers in training from the college took the lead that day, creating lessons and interacting with the children.
May 18, 2013 was the Food For the Poor Angels of Hope Programme at the Hope Zoo. This annual initiative was enjoyed by over 600 wards and their caregivers from 19 children’s homes islandwide. The children were invited into the lorry to play with the pegs, blocks, puzzles, stacking tools and dry erase boards.
May 21, 2013 was our Teachers, Tots and Tools and Workshop for Three Year Olds at the Caenwood Early Childhood Resource Centre. Another great workshop with the children and teachers learning and growing together.
For more about this Teachers, Tots and Tools Workshop- Three Year Olds, have a look at our Facebook photo album here . To find out more details about this Teachers, Tots and Tools Workshop- Three Year Olds, have a look at our blog post here
It was summer time and the first week in July brought about a bright and fun time in the life of Crayons Count.
Crayons Count and Inscape Foundation partnered to use art therapy techniques to increase creativity, expression and socialization with children in the early childhood age group. In this pilot project, every morning this week Crayons Count have had 5 and 6 year olds paired with awesome volunteers in the Crayons Count Learning Lorry which was stationed at one of the Mustard Seed Communities. Using the Crayons Count learning tools, the kids have built with blocks, made art with crayons (learning to mix colours), play doh (making faces and body parts) and paper tearing. We had puppet shows, dance and movement. The project lasted from July 11-18th.
We even had a fun-filled day at the zoo to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day, July 18. Can you say ‘best day ever?’
To view more photos of this amazing day, check out our Facebook album here.
August 2013 was a busy time for all. The back to school rush was upon us but that didn’t slow us down. Crayons Count, in association with the United States Embassy Jamaica, presented ‘Back 2 Basics’, a free workshop for early childhood educators and administrators held on Thursday, August 29th 9:30-5:00 P.M. and Friday, August 30 th 8:30-1:00 P.M. in two locations – Kingston and Montego Bay respectively. The workshop was totally play-based, hands on, interactive and fun. It featured a Teachers, Tots and Tools session and a special guest presenter, Lisa Murphy, the ‘Ooey Gooey’ Lady. It was a time for play and a time for learning. The workshops were sponsored by National Baking Co., CB Group, Rainforest Seafoods, Wisynco Group, The Gleaner Co. Ltd. and Fundaciones.
We had so much fun 2012-2013 and more was to come. The new school year was right around the corner and we couldn’t wait.