Rainforest of Reading programme culminates with festival

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Rainforest of Reading programme culminates with festival

The Rainforest of Reading programme, which provided all grade three students in St Lucia with books to encourage a love of reading, culminates with The Rainforest of Reading Festival on Friday.

The Vigie Sports Complex will be the home for over 2000 avid readers, along with educators, principals and volunteers, to celebrate their journey through the programme.

Students will meet authors, participate in workshops and many other fun activities run by local volunteers.

They will also compete against each other in various word-building games.

Artist Carolyn Gavin, creator of the Rainforest of Reading animals, will meet with students. There will also be entertainment tents with live music and face painting.

Governor General of Saint Lucia, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, will present the Rainforest of Reading Award.

The festival grew from the experience of Sonya White, a special education teacher in Guelph, and her husband Richard Clewes, who have collected over 13 tons of books (about 130,000 titles) since August 2012 for Caribbean schools through their charity OneWorld
Schoolhouse Foundation.

The festival’s theme — ‘Books can take you places you’ve never been before. Imagine That!’ — was inspired by UNESCO’s Literacy Decade and created by Marlaina, White’s 10-year-old daughter, who is a voracious reader.

The festival organisers plan to add seven member countries from the OECS over the next four years.

The Rainforest of Reading programme provided all grade three students in St Lucia with 12 books to encourage a love of reading to engage them in higher order critical thinking skills, using their own ‘Passport’.

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