April 2, 2012

Crayons Count: A Building Block in Jamaica's Civil Society

There have been so many times when I have been invited to meetings with Jamaicans in the diaspora when the conversation has devolved into fevered rants about "all the things that are wrong with Jamaica."

Yes, the crime rate and garrison communities are atrocious. Yes, the decline in public morality is a cause for concern. But there are bright spots that shine beyond Jamaica's geographical boundaries.

One of these lights is Crayons Count.

As the founder of Do Good Jamaica, "an online information portal for and about civil society organizations in Jamaica," Deika Morrison is the driving force behind Crayons Count, "a project designed to support the early-childhood education programme and is endorsed by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) and has two primary objectives:

1. To put a learning kit of materials in all early-childhood institutions (i.e. basic and infant schools as recognised by the ECC) across Jamaica at back to school in September 2012. Each basic kit contains: 240 crayons, 10 books, two balls, two sets of blocks, four children's scissors, four puppets, four tubs of play dough and four packs of paper.

2. The complete kit: made up of four puzzles, four manipulatives, four sets of children's paint, eight children's paint brushes, eight glue sticks.

According to The Daily Gleaner: "These kits represent the basic starter material required by the basic and pre-schoolers, to set them on their way to a life of learning, that will eventually result in a more educated society and a change in the existing culture of the embracing of ignorance and the dependency syndrome that the culture breeds."

So many memes within our culture encourage "ignorance" and a "dependency syndrome." Jamaica's first national hero, Marcus Garvey, livicated his life to our emancipation from this type of "mental slavery." Crayons Count is one more step toward our liberation.

Marcus Garvey would have been proud.


There is a well-known Chinese proverb, "It is better to light a candle that to curse the darkness." Here's one way to "light a candle."

Crayons Count has a link to Amazon so that those in the diaspora may also help with this remarkable project: http://www.amazon.com/registry/baby/16XZFCOMX3V8U

Related Link: http://www.jamaicans.com/articles/primeinterviews/deikamorrisondogoodjamaica.shtml


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