Fri | Oct 15, 2021

Jamaican schools gifted game-changing literacy Graphogame app

Published:Wednesday | October 13, 2021 | 12:09 AM
Issa Trust Foundation’s President and CEO Diane Pollard (centre).
Issa Trust Foundation’s President and CEO Diane Pollard (centre).
Charmaine Daniels, CEO of Digicel Foundation.
Charmaine Daniels, CEO of Digicel Foundation.
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Jamaica’s early childhood education system now has access to the game-changing Graphogame literacy app, a generous gift to Jamaican schoolchildren from Winsome Wishes for KIDS (WWKIDS) in New York, with the assistance of the United States-based Windward Institute.

The app, which has proven efficacy in achieving basic literacy among children in the 4-9 age groups, equal to 1-to-1 teacher support, was developed by linguists, neuropsychologists and speech pathologists from the Finland-based Grapho Group after 25 years of research. It is now the most-researched educational game, and has been used in Finland and other parts of the world for over a decade, with great results.

WWKIDS is collaborating with the Issa Foundation in Jamaica, as it is the main partner for the nationwide roll-out of the Graphogame app. The Digicel Foundation is also on board with the initiative as a platinum partner.

“This app will play a very important role in bridging gaps in our early childhood education system, which are now widening as a result of COVID-19,” said Simone Sobers, founder of WWKIDS. “It is interactive, intuitive and user-friendly, and best of all, it is free. Once downloaded, it can be played without connectivity and data, which is significant at a time when children may have increased access to devices through several governmental and private-sector initiatives, but still lack connectivity and have no access to data,” she continued.

The Issa Trust Foundation has expressed excitement at the roll-out of the Graphogame in Jamaica. “This initiative is in clear alignment with our mission of community-building, providing resources for children to have access to education and promoting and improving healthcare and other services that increase the well-being and development of Jamaica. We are eager to get it in the hands of all children, because we know that education is the foundation on which they will build the rest of their lives. We are happy to play a part in ensuring that this foundation is secure,” said Diane Pollard, president and CEO of the Issa Trust Foundation.

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“The Digicel Foundation has donated over 2,000 tablets since the start of the pandemic, and one of the areas we are looking at is, what are the ways children engage and learn? It’s very important that we fund some of the apps and games that teach them. The Graphogame app utilises different learning styles of kids, so it speaks to a broader base of children. It teaches in a fun and engaging way and that’s why we like it,” said Charmaine Daniels, CEO of the Digicel Foundation.

The Graphogame app is available as a free-to-download application in Jamaica, on iOS, Microsoft and Android App Stores. The donation of the app is a continuation of the work that WWKIDS has been doing in Jamaica over the last 18 months, which includes virtual workshops for teachers in Jamaica, and the donation of devices to schools and children in need.