Excellent!” “Outstanding!” “Moving!” were some of the words used by principals, teachers and parents to describe the accomplishments of the Infant One and Two pupils who participated in the “Our Children Read To Their Communities” programme conducted at libraries across the country. This programme, which features children reading aloud in groups and individually, marks the culmination of the Leading for Literacy Now! Phase II project, sponsored by Republic Bank Limited and hosted in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and NALIS.
Many parents were moved to tears when they heard their little ones, who took to the stage in front of scores of individuals, read with expression and confidence. Pupils of the Beetham Estate Government read at the Port of Spain Children’s Library on June 16. Ann Antoine, principal of the school said that it was heartening to see the children read with such enthusiasm. She said that the Leading For Literacy Project has positively influenced the lives of her students. The parent of the ‘most competent reader’ of the same school said that she has two older children attending the school and believes that this programme has helped her daughter to excel in reading.
The second week of the “Our Children Read To Their Communities” programme featured students of the Ascension AC, Belmont Girl’s RC, Eastern Boys’ Government, Grosvenor Presbyterian, Gran Couva RC, Cunjal Government, Arouca AC, Carapichaima AC, Felicity Hindu, Beetham Estate Government, Fifth Company Primary, Laventille Boys’ Government and Roxborough AC.
All in attendance shared the view that the programmes were well co-ordinated by library staff who also provided some very helpful hints about reading, its importance and how libraries assist in the promotion of the reading habit.
The success of the Leading for Literacy Now! Project has been attributed to the commitment and dedication of teachers who gave up a week of their vacation last August to be trained in the teaching of reading using the Jolly Phonics.