December 1, 2020

DMS Announces 2013 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award and Scholarship Winners

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Joanna clarkeGEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman – Caymanian business conglomerate DMS Organization last Saturday announced winners for the coveted Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA) and Scholarship at a sparkling gala held at Grand Old House on Saturday, March 9th. Through the JCA, DMS rewards worthy education initiatives with up to KYD $12,000.00 annually and a minimum of $2,500 to aspiring teachers. Recognizing the importance of private sector support for education, DMS introduced the award to honour education pioneer Joanna Clarke in 2007, and publicly acknowledge the efforts of all persons and organizations that contribute to education in the Cayman Islands.

dms-organization-logoDMS President Don Seymour is particularly proud of this year’s award, to say nothing of the entire JCA endeavour. “What could be more important than the young minds of these islands? It’s not enough to prop up the status quo. The prosperity that we have experienced as a nation demands that we invest soundly in its future – and these young minds.”

The JCA Committee have carefully reviewed all applications submitted and applaud the Cayman Islands Government Speech and Language Department: “Communication with PECS” project and Red Bay Primary School for their “Stop and Think” initiative. This year’s scholarship was awarded to Erica Powell who will use her funding to pursue her teaching certificate at the University of Tampa.

Below are the 2 award winning projects:

•             Cayman Islands Government Speech and Language Department; Communication with PECS

PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System and helps children learn how to communicate by exchanging pictures representing a request for an object.  Our initiative aims to set up PECS for non-verbal and minimally verbal children in the Government Education System and provide a means for nonverbal and minimally verbal children to communicate effectively.  The project hopes to reduce frustrations and associated behavior in nonverbal and minimally verbal children, enable these children to experience success in communication and thereby increase their self-esteem.

·         Red Bay Primary School: Stop & Think Social Skills Training

The goal of this project is to help students learn social problem-solving skills and to reduce the occurrence of impulsive and reactive solutions by students to common interpersonal conflict situations in school. A secondary objective of ‘Stop & Think’ is to offer interested high school students studying Drama and/or Media Studies the opportunity to participate in the project with the hope of influencing their academic and professional decisions.

Ms. Clarke commented, “Never did I imagine that the most important chapter in my career would come so late and postpone my retirement. It has been an experience of immense reward and learning for me and proof that we’re never too old or too young to make a difference.”

Previous recipients of the Joanna Clarke Award program include: “Catch up Literacy” and “Making Hanen Happen”.  Previous award winners also include the N.C.V.O.’s Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home, Cayman Islands Scout Association for Cayman Islands Scout Band, John Gray High School, Cayman Prep and High School, George Town Primary and Savannah Primary School PTA.

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