Info & Resources

Non Profit Profile: The Palmyra Foundation

Written by Staff Writer

Mission/ Objectives/ Goal

Under the banner “The future is bright, when you can read and write!” The Palmyra Foundation’s primary purpose is to provide school books and educational materials to 4 and 5 year old Kindergarten children in pre-schools across Jamaica. The Palmyra Foundation’s aim is to help eradicate illiteracy and promote a positive outlook of prosperity for the children. A secondary objective is to improve the children’s self esteem, introduce them to community role models and ultimately give hope of success to children growing up under challenging circumstances.

The ability to read is linked to poverty, unemployment and crime. Access to books and educational materials has been found to be a critical variable in motivating children to learn to read and write and to help give hope and break the circle of poverty.

The Palmyra Foundation is a non-profit charity registered in Jamaica and as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity in the US. Since it’s startup in 2007, more than 100 international volunteers have helped provide more than 100,000 books to 25,000 children in over 125 schools across Jamaica’s 14 parishes. To date, the Palmyra Foundation has donated books valued at over US$670,000.

Achievements

Our program works! 86% success rate of among 1590 children in 2012.
Our book distributions show an immediate and significant impact. By diligently measuring the children’s reading, writing, math and science skills at the end of each school year, The Palmyra Foundation has a quantifiable way to evaluate its results. The year-end Assessment has provided tangible evidence of tremendous improvement among children who receive books.

In May 2012, the charity measured a remarkable 86 % average success rate in reading, writing, math and science skills among 1590 Kindergarten children who received books from The Palmyra Foundation at the start of the school year.

In 2010, the charity introduced The Palmyra Foundation Assessment, a basic test measuring the children’s reading, writing, math and science skills. By diligently measuring the children’s skills, The Palmyra Foundation has a quantifiable way to evaluate its results. The year-end Assessment has provided tangible evidence of tremendous improvement among children who receive books.

“The books have helped improve my sons reading level immensely. They have also created a closer bond between my son and I as we work together, reading and answering questions.”
Ava Roper, Parent of student at Falmouth Infant School, Trelawny

2010 test results

Before the 2010 book distribution, the charity measured an average success rate of 69% on the test among 833 four year old children who did not receive books.

2011 test results

Only a year after receiving books, the average results among 474 children (4 year old) at the same schools had increased to 89%, an improvement of 20%. In particular, results stood out among several smaller rural schools, such as Bickersteth Infant & Primary School, St. James parish, where the 4 year old children who received books at the beginning of the school year measured an average of 95%, in comparison to an average of 52% among the 4 year olds who did not receive books the previous year, a measured improvement of 43%. Additionally, 55 students at Cambridge Infant School achieved an incredible 87.2%, compared to 62.3% before the book program, showing a measured improvement of 24.9% in only one year.

2012 test results
In 2012, the charity measured a remarkable 86% average success rate in reading, writing, math and science skills among 1590 Kindergarten children who received books from The Palmyra Foundation at the start of the school year.

Moreover, an average success rate of above 90% was measured at four schools; Hampden Basic School, Providence Heights Infant School, Falmouth Infant School and Montego Bay Infant School, confirming that the charity’s book distributions are making an immediate and significant impact.

Success Stories
Quantitatively, The Palmyra Foundation’s goal is to administer the Assessment to a minimum of 80% of the children who received books from the charity. Qualitatively, the charity’s goal is to achieve an average result of 85% among the Kindergarten public school children who receive books from The Palmyra Foundation. Results confirm that the charity’s book distributions are making an immediate and significant impact, and improvements have been observed at every single school that has received books.

Providence Heights Infant School, Montego Bay, St. James parish
Over the last three years, the 4 year old children at Providence Heights Infant School have shown tremendous progress. With an average success rate of 59% before receiving books in 2010, test results were up to a success rate of 84.4% in 2011 and up further to an incredible 91% in 2012. Moreover, the 5 year old children at Providence Heights who received books from the charity two years running scored an impressive 94% on the 2012 assessment.

Montego Bay Infant School, Montego Bay, St. James parish
Before receiving books in 2010, the 4 year old children at Montego Bay Infant measured an average success rate of 69.3% on the test. After receiving books, the average immediately jumped to 88.5% in 2011. In 2012, an incredible 91.3% success rate was measure among 222 four year old children who completed the test. Additionally, a superb success rate of 90.9% was measured among 559 five year old children who have received bookbags two years in a row.

Upper Rock Spring All Age & Infant School, Hanover parish

One of the schools that have received books from The Palmyra Foundation since 2007, a gradual improvement in skills has been measured over the last 5 years. The first set of students who received books from the charity in 2007, have now reached the age where they have to pass the Governments “Grade 4 Mastery test”. While mastery in literacy at Upper Rock Spring was a mere 25% five years ago, the 2012 class achieved an impressive 84% mastery in literacy on the test. According to Principal Clayton Smith, this is a direct result of the children consistently getting books from The Palmyra Foundation.

Falmouth Infant School, Falmouth, Trelawny parish
In 2012, the 5 year old children at Falmouth Infant who have received bookbags two years in a row measured a success rate of 91.6%, while the 4 year old children achieved an excellent success rate of 87.2%.

SOS Village/ Jane Viera Kindergarten, Rose Hall, St. James parish

The most surprising results in 2012, were provided courtesy of four 3 year old children at Jane Viera Kindergarten at the SOS Village in Barrett Town, who received bookbags with books for 4 year olds last year. Showing what our young children are capable of with the right tools, they measured an incredible success rate of 95.53% on the test, outdoing both the 4 and 5 year old children who scored respectively 90% and 79.75%.

Contact details
Telephone number: +1-876-632-4000
Email address: [email protected]
www.thepalmyrafoundation.com

JAMAICA
The Palmyra Foundation
Resort Properties Jamaica
at The Palmyra Resort & Spa
Clubhouse, 3rd Floor
One Palmyra Resort Drive
Rose Hall
Montego Bay, St. James
Jamaica W.I.

Mailing address:
The Palmyra Foundation
Half Moon Post Office
Rose Hall, St. James
Jamaica W.I.

UNITED STATES
The Palmyra Foundation, Inc
119 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Donations can be made via Paypal on www.thepalmyrafoundation.com or at our offices.

Activities (2013 Events)

Online Charity Auction

March 1 – March 23, 2013
Participate in our Online Charity auction which will be live on the web from March 1 – March 23, and bid on luxury vacations stays, flights, jewelry & luxury good, sports memorabilia, art, restaurant vouchers or electronics over the web and via smart phones.

Among 100 fantastic items on last year’s “virtual auction block” were DELTA and Jetblue Airways airline tickets, luxury vacation stays in Hawaii, Bali, Miami, Colorado, Italy, Spain, Dubai and Jamaica, a Royal Caribbean cruise, concert tickets and meet & greet with the world’s most revered flutist Sir James Galway in Washington DC. With your help, we are hoping to make our 2013 Online Charity Auction even better!

Help us reach our goal of donating book bags to 10,000 children in September 2013 by donating unique items to our Online Charity Auction. Sought after items are luxury hotel stays, flights, jewelry & luxury good, “meet & greets” with famous personalities, sports memorabilia, art, restaurant vouchers or electronics. The auction will be live on the web from March 1 – March 23, allowing people from all over the world will be able to bid on great items over the web and via smart phones.

The last night of the auction – Saturday March 23rd – will be celebrated through a star studded “Live Bidding Event” in Montego Bay, which will be broadcast LIVE on national TV in Jamaica.

Last Night Auction Event

March 23, 2013
The last night of this year’s Online Charity auction will be celebrated with a LIVE broadcast on national TV in Jamaica. Stay tuned for more exciting info about the star studded event celebrated the last night of the auction, which will be broadcast LIVE on national TV from Montego Bay, Jamaica. We are particularly excited to be working in partnership with Ocean Style Magazine, the Caribbean’s premier luxury lifestyle title and renowned VIP event organizers.

Book Distribution

September 3 – 28, 2013
The Palmyra Foundation will commence its annual book distribution Tuesday September 3, 2013 at Montego Bay Infant School, St. James.

Thank You Reception

November 2013
Celebrating the completion of yet another successful book distribution made possible by sponsors and volunteers, The Palmyra Foundation will organize its annual “Thank You Reception” for sponsors and volunteers in November 2012.

Volunteers

Since 2007, more than 100 volunteers from 20+ countries have assisted in the sorting, stamping, packing and distributing of books to 25,000 children.

A highlight of the September 2012 book distribution took place at Somerton All Age & Infant School, where former Prime Minister The Most Honourable P.J. Patterson joined the ranks of the charity’s volunteers. With an unprecedented 14 years in office, the very presence of Jamaica’s longest ever serving Prime Minister helped bring much needed attention to the importance of Early Childhood Education handing out book bags to the children at his alma mater while rubbing shoulders with former Speaker of the House and Member of Parliament Ms. Violet Nielson. Ms. Nielson attended Somerton, the school whose famous alumni includes reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, together with the former PM. The school has also nurtured reggae icon Jimmy Cliff through his childhood years.

Other famous Jamaican volunteers who have handed out books and helped bring attention to the cause included World Champion boxer Lennox Lewis, World Champion track and field star Donovan Bailey and reggae stars Third World Band.

Volunteers Information

There are many ways to get involved. If you are interested in helping, please contact us at [email protected] or call +1-876-632-4000.

About the author

Staff Writer