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Driving Education: TransJamaican Highway donates $2.5M to literacy Loop Jamaica

The TransJamaican Highway Limited and its subsidiary Jamaican Infrastructure Operator Limited, which operates the Highway 2000 East-West corridor of Jamaica’s toll roads, is celebrating 20 years.

Managing Director of TransJamaican Highway Limited (TJH), Ivan Anderson, said that to commemorate this milestone, the organisation has a few activities planned including a donation of $2.5 million to the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) and primary schools towards literacy programmes.

“Our children, our future; we believe that literacy is very important and the early childhood and primary levels should be targeted so that by the time our children reach the high school level they are all literate and hopefully advanced in reading,” Anderson said.

Literacy is the foundation of all areas of education and it is believed that it helps to provide a roadmap for success at each level.

Annually, UNESCO marks International Literacy Day on September 8, the same month TJH celebrates its anniversary, but the company has moved to make a head start on activities through its donation during the back-to-school period. Anderson said that TJH has focused its efforts on schools in and around communities surrounding the corridor of the highway.

“This year, September 25, is our twentieth anniversary of operations, and our commemorative activities include giving back to the communities in which we operate. We have opted to provide the funds ahead of the school year to assist the administrators in their preparations for the new school year,”Anderson shared.

He continued, “It is a widely held belief that education helps eradicate poverty and hunger, giving people the chance at better lives and a part of that is literacy. In playing our part in helping to improve the national literacy rate, we are donating to a total of six schools which are registered and up-to-date with the Ministry of Education or Early Childhood Commission.”

The six schools to have met the requirements were Freetown Primary School and Brown’s Basic School in Freetown, Clarendon, McAuley Primary School and Ensom City Basic School in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, and the Greater Portmore Primary and Portsmouth Basic schools in Portmore, St. Catherine. Another of the prerequisites for the schools which will benefit from the $2.5 million donation, was to have an established reading and/or literacy programme which pays special attention to students outside of the usual curriculum requirement.

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“TJH is engaging schools that our research shows have met the criteria of the initiative. It is our hope that the donation will contribute to resources that will help the children to improve in literacy and uplift the communities by way of doing so,” remarked Claudia Simms, Senior Administrative Officer of TJH and coordinator of the donations.

On the actual day of the twentieth anniversary, September 25, TJH will host a live outside broadcast at the Portmore Toll Plaza, to commemorate the official launch of its new brand where there will be giveaways at the toll booth, an announcement of new discounts, and the opportunity for customers to win prizes while conducting transactions.