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The UWI Open Campus Early Childhood Centre of Excellence Bloom Launches Children's Book

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The UWI Open Campus Early Childhood Centre of Excellence

Bloom Launches Children's Book

Office of the Director Consortium for Social Development and Research, Jamaica.  June 29, 2020 – The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus Early Childhood Centre of Excellence, in partnership with Do Good Jamaica and illustrator, Rachel Moss created a book to support children and their families that celebrates the diversity that exists in the Caribbean and the world.

The book, authored by Cathryn O’Sullivan, the Programme Leader of Bloom ECCE Jamaica, titled I Can't Go to School but I Can Do Lots of Things, includes a story and suggested activities and discussion points to help families as they tell the story.

According to O’Sullivan, “the idea to launch this book is based on our experiences with children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized that materials to help young Caribbean children understand the pandemic which resulted in school closure, were helpful but not necessarily developmentally appropriate or culturally relevant.”

“There was also a need for more positive messaging that would help children to understand some of the things that they were still able to do during this time. We wanted to find a way to support not only the children and families we serve, but also the wider community in Jamaica, the Caribbean region and the world, as the children struggle to understand the current pandemic and its implications for them,” O’Sullivan explained. 

On the afternoon of June 11, 2020, the book was posted on social media and by the morning of June 13 there were almost 1000 clicks on the link to the book, which doesn’t include the number of persons who received and shared the PDF directly.  Based on this impact, a request was received from early childhood coordinators in Vanuatu, in the South Pacific to translate the book into Bislama. “It is clear that there was a need for the resource and we are excited that we are able to support others,” O’Sullivan stated.

Deika Morrison, Co-Founder and Chairperson of Do Good Jamaica in a statement about the initiative, stated, “Do Good Jamaica has always had a special emphasis on building resilience. This has only become more urgent in this very challenging time. Giving children access to relatable content - created by local authors and illustrators - has always been a priority of our early childhood campaign, Crayons Count. And so we are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner once again with Caribbean Child Development Centre, The UWI Open Campus’ Bloom ECCE JA and Rachel Moss to do so. We hope that this book is helpful to children across Jamaica, in the Diaspora and worldwide. We are keen to explore other relevant topics for a series.”

Bloom ECCE Jamaica is excited to work with our partners Do Good Jamaica, the funders and Rachel Moss, the illustrator, as we look forward to continuing to develop additional empowering books for children and families on other subject areas in the future.

The book is accessible through the following links:

Please follow Rachel Moss on Instagram @rachelmossillustration and on her website at rachelmossillustration.com

Book Cover

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About Bloom

Bloom Early Childhood Centre of Excellence is a university laboratory preschool for children between three months and five yearsWe use our unique resources and affiliations to ensure that your child realizes their full potential in a high-quality environment. The UWI Open Campus Early Childhood Centres of Excellence has two preschools in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively - Bloom ECCE JA and Bloom ECCE TT.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @letsbloomja and letsbloomtt respectively.

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019.The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit www.uwi.edu.

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)