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(PRESS RELEASE) — Young book lovers in St. Lucia experienced a welcomed treat last Friday when a Reading Road Show and literary extravaganza got underway as part of St. Lucia’s Reading Month celebrations under the theme: ‘Collaborating to Close the Literacy Gap – Read for Change’.
The activity falls under the aegis of the United States Government supported Early Learners Program, implemented in collaboration with the OECS Commission.
See photos below courtesy of Marcellus Albertin
Lauding the initiative and underscoring the importance of literacy, Head of the Education Development Management Unit of the OECS Commission, Mrs. Sisera Simon, declared the Road Show open, after which the convoy journeyed to various schools starting with the Vide Boueteille Combined School in Castries before heading to the west coast of the island.
In keeping with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Project’s mandate to highlight the importance of learning to read at an early age, staff of the OECS Commission and the Ministry of Education read to the eager students amidst peals of laughter and excitement.
The students enthusiastically answered questions and showed much interest in the stories.
The Road Show culminated with a major activity at the Soufriere Infant School where the Ministry of Education launched their Literacy activities for the year.
The excited youngsters were treated to lively music of well-known Soca artist, Arthur Allain, who wrote a song specifically to motivate them to read.
The Reading Specialist of the Early Leaners Programme Lisa Sargusingh-Terrance explained that, “Through this activity we had the opportunity to focus the nation’s attention on the value of learning to read at an early age, and demonstrate how collectively we can ensure a citizenry of young people who can be changemakers through the power of reading.”
The ELP is a reading development programme currently underway in six OECS countries that is improving the reading proficiency of children in Kindergarten to Grade 3.
The Reading Road Show was another successful initiative of the ELP that created further awareness of the Programme and focused the nation’s attention on the importance of learning to read at an early age. The ELP and the St. Lucia Ministry of Education collaborated to make this year’s Reading Road Show a rewarding one.
About the OECS/USAID Early Learners Program (ELP)
The OECS/USAID Early Learners Program (ELP) is a reading development program administered by the OECS Commission and supported by the United States Government, through USAID. The ELP influences essential aspects of policy and practice to improve reading levels of all learners at the early primary level (Grade K to Grade 3) in the six OECS member states of Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The ELP strengthens teacher skills through a myriad of professional development opportunities; improves the quality of teaching through child-centered and evidence- based approaches, and the provision of culturally relevant and gender sensitive resources. Both formative and summative assessments inform stakeholder plans for appropriate reading instructional activities for all learners in the Early Learners Program.
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