RESTORE Belize and Literacy Without Borders are pleased to announce that training on the Academy of Reading and the Academy of Math has occurred in Belize. In December 2012, the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated a gift valued at consisting of 100 computers and a National Master License and four site licenses for computer-based literacy and numeracy software in Belize, .  This means that four sites in Belize will be able to offer this program in indefinitely and eight other sites will have access to the software for one year. Steps are underway to convert many of these temporary sites into permanent sites.

This training, which will lasted 2.5 days saw 25 staff members from various community agencies receive training to deliver the Computer Assisted Literacy Solutions programs in their agencies.  These self-driven programs will help adult and student learners who struggle with reading or math to upgrade their skills to their desired level.

Master Trainer Avinel Rutherford of School Specialty in Nassau, and Literacy Without Borders Executive Director Randy Boissonnault conducted the training.

Agencies participating in this week’s training included:

  • Eglah's Training Center for Women and Families
  • Kolbe Foundation
  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
  • Port Loyola Library
  • RESTORE Belize
  • UBAD Educational Foundation
  • Water Walkers
  • Yabra Community Policing Centre
  • YMCA
  • Youth Hostel

After the training course, an implementation and monitoring plan will be agreed with each of the participating agencies with the expectation of starting training classes for the first recruits in March 2013. Over the course of the next year, additional agencies will be invited to participate in the programme.

The Academy of Reading and the Academy of Math have been used with great success in the Bahamas, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent, Jamaica, and throughout North America. In Belize, a Literacy Assessment (2011) conducted by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) revealed that many children in primary schools in the Belize District are struggling to attain the basic literacy skills appropriate for their age. This computer-based programme has a proven record of success in improving both literacy and numeracy skills in students of all ages and will complement the efforts of the Belize Literacy Unit, the Special Education Unit and NGOs working throughout the country on improving basic literacy and numeracy.

By spending 30 minutes on the program three times a week, for 10 weeks, students will improve one grade level in their literacy or math skills.  Students who choose to spend more time on the system will advance more quickly.

Look out or contact RESTORE Belize for further updates or ways to get involved.