- Posted August 20, 2013 by
Montego Bay, Jamaica
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
- Why Are Men So Car Crazy?
- Facebook's co-founder Eduardo Saverin with CHINICT's Founder & President Franck Nazikian at Annual Edition of the CHINICT Conference in Beijing
- Battling Gamer Camps - Its HardCore Gamers VS Casual Gamers
- Classical Music, Popular, But Not More Than “Pop!”
- Internet Success In 5 Steps That Generate Traffic, Traffic, And More Traffic
Philanthropy Successes – Bob Trotta & Other Celebrities Lend Their Support To Good Causes
“Eradicating illiteracy is a national objective in Jamaica. However, The Government of Jamaica does not supply textbooks, reading books or any other educational materials to pre-school children. The Ministry of Education has recently implemented three programs designed to eradicate illiteracy among Jamaican children including the “Literacy 1-2-3 program”, which provides a curriculum and the necessary support materials for the three first grades.
Despite this effort, support to the nation’s pre-school children is still sorely missing. Philanthropist Bob Trotta, owner of Palmyra Resort and Spa in Jamaica, learned about this severe need and it motivated him to found The Palmyra Foundation in 2007.
The foundation’s book program fills a gap by providing books to children at an early age, helping them prepare for first grade. Now, The Palmyra Foundation collaborates with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) of Jamaica to ensure that book selections are appropriate and follow curriculum guidelines that support the Governments “Literacy 1-2-3 program.”
The ECC has noted their appreciation to The Palmyra Foundation for its contribution of much needed reading materials for all ages of the early childhood sector. ECC officers were present to assist with the 2011 and 2012 book distributions at several schools, and has pledged its support to the project through the consistent monitoring of use of the materials within the schools.
A man who knows few strangers, upbeat and engaging Bob Trotta has been successful in gathering many celebrities who have traveled to Jamaica to support the fund raising events that have continued to support the educational needs of young Jamaican children over the years.
This years’ event was covered by the leading Jamaica News Service, The Gleaner. In the cover story “Palmyra Rolls Out Red Carpet for Charity,” writer Janet Silvera reported, “Usain Bolt's training Pumas and a 2012 London Olympics mascot, signed by the world record holder, were among the hot items competed for at The Palmyra Foundation's red-carpet charity auction last Saturday night.
In fact, all eyes were transfixed on large projector screens strategically placed within the Blue Beat lounge, while fingers tapped away on smartphones, iPads and laptops, raking in nearly US$50,000 (more than J$4.6 million ) for the charity's Book4Kids Jamaica programme.”
The report from Jamaica indicated this event was truly celebrity packed, thanks in part to Trotta’s personality and determination to ensure the Palmyra Foundation took good care of Jamaica’s educational needs.
According to Gleaner writer Silvera, “(Usain) Bolt wasn't the only contributor to this exciting event, part of which was carried live by CVM Television. Several luxury vacations, flights and even cruises were up for grabs as bidders picked up amazing deals on more than 160 items online, supporting the cause…. “The evening also got a boost by the presence of American celebrity actor and comedian Anthony Anderson, star of "Anthony Eats America" the award winning show on U.S. TV and the CVM broadcast with hosts Montego Bay's own Paul Kerr-Jarrett and the station's new CEO Andrew McGlone.”
Under the banner “The future is bright, when you can read and write!” The Palmyra Foundation’s primary purpose is to provide school books and educational materials to 4 and 5 year old Kindergarten children in pre-schools across Jamaica. The Palmyra Foundation’s aim is to help eradicate illiteracy and promote a positive outlook of prosperity for the children. A secondary objective is to improve the children’s self esteem, introduce them to community role models and ultimately give hope of success to children growing up under challenging circumstances.
Based on the outcome from this year’s event, The Palmyra Foundation is achieving the goals of its mission in a big way. Some of the notables in attendance were excited by the success of the auction and the generous donations of attendees and provided comments that were captured by the news reporters in the audience...
“In the education system, the sooner we can begin to provide for our children and teaching them the skills of numeracy and literacy, the better it will be for the nation of Jamaica. Each year the presentation by The Palmyra Foundation has been extended. It is growing bigger and contributing more to the development of our children and I hope that it will continue to grow from strength to strength as we seek to build the future of Jamaica with education as the critical key.” The Honourable P. J. Patterson, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica
About The Palmyra Foundation
Under the slogan "The future is bright, when you can read and write!" The Palmyra Foundation is dedicated to providing books to 4 and 5 year old Pre-K and Kindergarten children in public infant schools in Jamaica.
Since it's startup in 2007, more than 100 international volunteers have helped provide more than 100,000 books to 25,000 children in over 125 schools across Jamaica's 14 parishes. To date, the Palmyra Foundation has donated books valued at over US$670,000 through the “Book4Kids Jamaica” program. The Palmyra Foundation is a non-profit charity registered in Jamaica and as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity in the US.
Book distributions show an immediate and significant impact. By diligently measuring the children’s reading, writing, math and science skills at the end of each school year, The Palmyra Foundation has a quantifiable way to evaluate its results. The year-end Assessment has provided tangible evidence of tremendous improvement among children who receive books.
In May 2012, the charity measured a remarkable 86 % average success rate in reading, writing, math and science skills among 1590 Kindergarten children who received books from The Palmyra Foundation at the start of the school year.
The Jamaica Gleaner
The Palmyra Foundation