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EU-Jamaica 5K set to fund literacy programme at Kingston High

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PROCEEDS FROM the inaugural European Union-Jamaica 5K Race, set for March 12, will go towards funding a literacy summer camp for students at Kingston High School and covering the 5K entry fee for 250 students, as well as citizens from communities in downtown Kingston.

The road race aims to mobilise residents around the theme ‘All Together Against Crime and Violence’ and raise awareness of the EU’s support to the Citizen Security Plan of the Government of Jamaica.

“The EU is pleased to partner with all who want to show that crime and violence have no place in the Jamaican society. Education is a pathway for social development and we’re pleased to announce that Kingston High School will benefit from proceeds of the EU-Jamaica 5K through a special literacy summer camp. The camp was piloted at the school last year and will continue based on the positive results. Proceeds will also be used to sponsor the participation of students and residents from downtown Kingston in the 5K, as we push to create a truly inclusive event,” said Marianne Van Steen, ambassador of the European Union to Jamaica.

The literacy summer camp for students at Kingston High School will be organised by the Ministry of Education and Youth (MOEY) and Creative Language-Based Learning, an educational non-profit.

The camp is part of the MOEY-led Inter-Ministerial 34 Schools’ Strategy and the broader Citizen Security Plan of the Government of Jamaica, supported by the EU.

The strategy was developed to strengthen services specifically in schools located within zones of special operations. These schools have identified literacy as a crucial issue to be addressed to improve academics, safety and security.

According to Jermaine Loutin, principal of Kingston High School, the 34 Schools’ Strategy has led to improvements in academic performance and the management of student discipline. It has also prompted a shift in how educators think about the relationship between safety and educational outcomes.

“Kingston High is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year and we’re very excited that the school was selected to benefit from the proceeds of this important event. Literacy is a key building block in educational advancement and I’m sure that with this summer camp coming in place, our students will benefit tremendously,” said Loutin.

The race will begin at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 12, in the car park of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. There will be entertainment and T-shirts for participants as well as medals for the first 2,000 finishers. Race amenities will include hydration stations and adequate medical coverage. The race will be accessible to all residents, including persons with disabilities. The fee is $2,000 and registration, the full route and additional race details are available at runningeventsja.com.

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