Student Achievement Scores Doubled, Enrollment Up, Graduation Rate Up, Thanks to The Montgomery County Links Incorporated, AARP, US Soccer Foundation, and Other Partners

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Philadelphia area partners, including the Montgomery County Links to be honored Thursday for reaching out to boost Jamaican Student Achievement.

We have now achieved 100 percent literacy from last year's sitting of the Grade 4 Literacy Test. This is great, great news! -Onex Bowen, Mt. Zion Principal

A plaque on the Mt. Zion Primary School will be unveiled at a ceremony February 6th, honoring the special association between two chapters of The Links, Incorporated (USA) and the Mt. Zion Primary School in James River. School Board Chairman, Rev. Egbert Harvey, and other board members will participate in the celebration which also includes parent workshops, flea market, and lunch.

The Montgomery County (PA) Chapter, The Links, Inc. (MCCL) adopted Mt. Zion Primary School 8 years ago, eager to provide educational assistance to the school. Basic needs such as paper, workbooks, pencils, etc. were the initial focus. Eventually linking hands with sister Links’ chapter, Reston (VA) Chapter, efforts were doubled in aiding the school. The resulting partnership produced a rise in test scores from 40% to 80%, increased student enrollment and enjoyed an increase in graduation rate. With an ongoing commitment to literacy, the two chapters have provided support through multiple donations, hands-on volunteer work, and securing collaborating partners.

To keep abreast of technology, The Links chapters have set up a working, viable computer lab (recently updated with donated laptops from AARP), continue to fund a literacy teacher and GSAT tutor, as well as donated dictionaries, educational supplies, and entire libraries. Mrs. Onex Bowen, principal of Mt. Zion, said, "We have now achieved 100 percent literacy from last year's sitting of the Grade 4 Literacy Test. This is great, great news!"

The newest contribution to Infrastructure updating at the school is the addition of walls and doors to divide space into separate classrooms by AV International and Elite, two USA collaborators. Reston Chapter has continued its focus on health and wellness with the funding of the cook’s salary, and much needed kitchen updates and supplies.

Most recent contributors have been “The Earl & Carolyn Glenn Foundation” which financed a 3-week Summer Enrichment Program in July, 2012 including academics, music, dance, sports, playground construction and community programs. The Foundation’s musical instruments donation, plus monetary donations from MCCL members, ensure continuation of the music program. A grant from the US Soccer Foundation provided complete soccer/football outfitting for 70 for the sports camp, with equipment and gear remaining in the community. Acaletics (math company) donated math educational material, and dentist, Dr. Aston Greaves, donated dental supplies. “By receiving the support and cooperation from all collaborators for the good of the Mt. Zion children, the results have been tenfold.” says Ellen Thomas, President of the Montgomery County Links.


For more information, contact: Ellen V. Thomas, President, Montgomery County Chapter Links, evthomas(at)comcast(dot)net


The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of 10,000 professional women of color in 273 chapters located in 42 states of the USA and two foreign countries: the Republics of Germany and Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of USA’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of volunteer community service annually – strengthening and enhancing their communities.

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