Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 48.37
Liaison Jenika Wong
Submission Date Nov. 18, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Brown College
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Collette Kane
Manager, Queen Str. Child Care Centre
George Brown College
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Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

George Brown College’s School of Early Childhood’s Jamaica Project focuses on improving the learning, behaviour, coping, developmental and care skills for the 0-6 year old group in Jamaica through a child-centred approach. Child centered approaches to development represent an opportunity to tackle and inter-generational cycles of poverty. Promoting development which is in the best interests of the child and oriented towards realizing the rights of children ensures sustainable human development.

To date, 150 George Brown students have participated in this one month study abroad experience which has had an enormous impact. The emphasis is on enhancing the play-based, child-centred approach to curriculum delivery in the areas of literacy, numeracy, and science in consultation with our partners; the Early Childhood Commission, Ministry of Education, Shortwood Teachers’ College, UNICEF in Jamaica as well as P.A.C.E. Canada.

This partnership between George Brown and Jamaica’s Early Childhood Commission has resulted in an improvement in how 94% of Jamaican children under the age of 5 years of age learn and develop. Through knowledge exchanges between faculty at George Brown’s School of Early Childhood and policy makers in Jamaica, the project has enhanced learning in the areas of reading, math and science. In addition, George Brown College students supported development of a video and training package for Best Practices, training for practitioners and principals in supporting children with special needs and to act as consultants to the development of model outdoor play spaces in Jamaica.

The website URL where information about the immersive program(s) is available:

Highlights of the Project
In the past 13 years, the Jamaica Project has had many successes. Below are just some of the key highlights:
• In 2003, George Brown’s School of Early Childhood was awarded a 5 year project in Jamaica from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. In 2008, the college was awarded a further three year project to continue our work in Jamaica.
• In 2008, George Brown faculty helped develop a key best practices document that was distributed to more than 3,000 early childhood education facilities island-wide and in 2011 a Best Practices DVD was presented at a national gathering to compliment the print document.
• To date, over 171 students have traveled to Jamaica, and 44 students from Jamaica have traveled to Toronto to work in George Brown lab schools
• 12 George Brown faculty members have spoken at conferences in Jamaica, toured schools and met with many community and government leaders in Jamaica
• Students and faculty have raised funds through various initiatives to bring teaching resources and materials to children and teachers in Jamaica.

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