Island Gems gives ‘Life’ and ‘Pay Day’ to Academy PSVE


EBENEZER – Island Gems Charity Foundation has donated the board games “Life” and “Pay Day” to St. Maarten Academy PSVE Section to aid students to build social interaction, develop problem-solving skills, and creates a forum for experiential learning.

Island Gems, the oldest charity on the island, bought 15 of each board game and these are already in use in the classrooms of Business and Mathematics Departments.

The need for the board games was brought to Island Gems by Teacher Marisha Carty of the Student Care Department. She outlined the benefits of experiential learning in helping to build students critical thinking skills through and experience that will benefit them or society in the future.

The board games used in her Guidance Class covers a multitude of attitudinal skills that are necessary for building character and citizenship.

Second form students use the board game “Life” as reinforcement for the importance of career choices during their matriculation in high school. Through this game, students will be able to understand that preparation for tertiary education is integral for their success in the future. Financial planning and goal setting are pertinent for students to be able to accomplish their dreams.

In third form, students use “Pay Day” to solidify the concepts of consumer mathematics, responsibility, budgeting and percentages. In this forum, the board game will be utilized across subject areas such as Guidance, Math, Economics, and Administration and Commerce. “Life” will also be used in this form to initiate the process of decision making and life skills.

In fourth form, the students will be using both games.

In guidance classes, students are taught the practicality of budgeting and other life skills as they get ready to transition from high school. “Pay Day” is used in regards to budgeting, business acquisition and sustainability. It can also be used in practicum for consumer mathematics, budgeting and percentages.  “Life” enforces the importance of the decisions that they make and how it affects their future.

The all-women foundation also presented the school was a package of Career Path posters. Each poster give an extensive sample of career opportunities and niches in what is often considered limited career paths. For example many students who think of a career in music may only see the limited scope of singing and music videos, but be totally unaware of the possibility of a career as an entertainment lawyer.

Carty said the poster are used to create a career corner to enlighten students on the many choices that they have based on their competence in the subject areas.

Island Gems President Alita Singh commended Carty for innovative out-of-the-box approach to educating the country’s youngsters. “Students can very much benefit for creative play and board games are a practical way to inspire and challenge young minds,” said Singh.

Island Gems is very much committed to education project with long term impacts. “Giving the board games mean the children can have fun together in the classrooms and still get practical knowledge,” said Island Gems member Anita “Anu” Amarnaney.

The Career Path posters are an excellent addition to the classroom, said Liz Maidwell. The mother of famed Orange Grove vocalist Michael Maidwell, in reviewing the “Music Career Path” poster, said many people only see what music offers on the surface. “It is good that these students will have an in depth view of this and other career options.”

Island Gems funds social and educational projects on both sides of the island. Projects must have a long term impact and must be carried out by established foundations/associations.

No money is given by the foundation. Projects are reviewed by Island Gems members and approved based on set criteria and impact. Materials and/or services are then paid for directly by the foundation.

Funds are raised by the Foundation at its annual costume gala dinner. This is the Foundation’s only source of funds. The next gala is in April 2017.