President’s Message Archive: Fall 2021

 In President's Message

September 2021
Dear members and friends,
Since our last update in March 2021 PACE has continued to operate using virtual meetings and events and this Fall it seems we will have to continue in this mode for some time due to the COVID-19 DELTA variant now spreading here and around the globe. Thanks to your continued support,  PACE has accomplished much of our goals in providing support for the kindergarten schools and early childhood teacher education in Jamaica and Toronto.

Here are some highlights:
  • Our virtual Annual General meeting (AGM) in May 2021 reinstated the current and very effective Board of Directors. We welcomed one new Director, Andria Barrett, as Chair of Fundraising. The organization is operating financially sound, providing funding support for COVID-19 requirements to Early Childhood schools and keeping our community partnerships and engagement active.
  • Community activities included participation in the June 27,2021 (virtual) JCA Walk-A-Thon. This included an interview on the Charles Matthews Show to highlight the goals and objectives of PACE.
  • Participant at the July 2021 Jamaica Early Childhood Commission (ECC) Quarterly Partnership virtual event where we gave a presentation about PACE.
  • Through our Adopt-A-School Program we distributed over $36,000 to over 100 Early Childhood Institutions in Jamaica which included 27 schools supported by Helping Hands.  This also included delivery of 44 Gift Boxes to schools through our partnership with Sangsters Book Store in Kingston,Jamaica.  Our thanks to the ECC who are supporting the online credit to these schools and school receipts and feedback to PACE.  The next disbursement is planned for October 2021 so please send in your online donations for your sponsored schools.
  • Our “Tablets for Kids” Program is progressing satisfactorily after much research, review, and fundraising
    •  We selected the OneTab device developed by the organization (a 2018 Global XPrize recipient) in the UK
    • These devices come with the OneCourse educational software  for reading, writing and mathematics, and comes in a carrying case with charging plug and provides 8 hours of daily use.
    • PACE obtained 5 samples for review, and some were provided to our George Brown College Board member who used them at their child care centres for evaluation purposes.
    • PACE member, Majorie Angel Brown, delivered one of the sample tablets to Karlene Deslandes, Director of the ECC in Jamaica so that they could do their own evaluation of the devices.
    • It was agreed that these devices were the best choice for our Early Childhood students aged 3 to 6 years old and would be appropriate for students living in the rural areas as they do not need internet connectivity to operate.
    • PACE is now negotiating the purchase and shipping of 1,000 devices to Jamaica by the manufacturer in China.
    • More information about this project is published on our “One Tablet” page, and we are still accepting donations to help fund this initiative.
  • Our Fall 2021 virtual event themed “Memories of Jamaica” is now planned for November 7, 2021 at 2 PM so hope to see you all there. Register in advance and we will send you the Zoom link.
PACE could not accomplish these activities and provide ongoing support for early childhood education without the continued support and donations by our members, friends and community. We are truly thankful and want you to know that you are Helping Young Children Succeed despite these challenging times.
Diana Burke,
President, P.A.C.E. (Canada)
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