Approximately 2,000 Grade 3 and 4 primary school students from across Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique gathered at the Grenada National Stadium in St George’s, on Tuesday, 25 November 2014, to participate in a Rainforest of Reading.
Rainforest of Reading is a literacy programme aimed at sparking the imagination of young children. It is sponsored by One World Schoolhouse Foundation, whose motto is “Good with Words”. The executive directors of this organization are Richard Clewes and Sonya White, from Canada.
Corporate Sponsor, Digicel Grenada, got on board and joined hands with One World Schoolhouse Foundation, to bring Rainforest of Reading to life, for Grenadian students. Several St George’s University students also came out to volunteer and show support for the initiative.
During the formal programme, the organization recognized two Canadian authors with the Favourite Non-Fiction Award and the Favourite Fiction Award, which went to the publications Amazing Animal Athletes and Would Someone Please Answer the Parrot? Students cheered loudly for the latter publication, which was obviously a favourite. The winners were announced by Sen. the Hon. Brenda Hood, who also delivered remarks and congratulated all winners.
Ms Kerry Winters PhD, Professor of Literacy and published author from Canada, encouraged the students to read. Referring to literacy, she said “…it spreads like ripples,” and went on to add, “If you want to be an author or a doctor, literacy is the path for you.”
Her Excellency, Dame Cécile La Grenade also encouraged the students to be avid readers and recounted loving reading as a child, with one of her favourite books being Agatha Christie novels. She also told the students, “Remember reading is a gift. It promotes a lifetime of learning.”
Minister Otway-Noel read a letter from the Governor General of Canada, HE David Johnson, saying that “books are able to change lives and are incredible drivers of social change.”
Also in attendance at this event were the Minister for Youth, Sports & Religious Affairs, Hon. Emmalin Pierre; Digicel Country Manager–Ms Patricia Maher; and various officials from the Ministry of Education, including the Chief Education Officer (Ag)–Ms Andrea Phillip. The Ministry of Education worked in partnership with One World School Foundation in organizing the event.
Following the ceremony, all schools were divided into groups, for a literacy workshop at the stadium. The workshop was facilitated by members of One World Schoolhouse Foundation, including young Canadian volunteers (children) and adults, as well as teachers and principals from the various schools.
All students in attendance received various literacy material from the Rainforest of Reading programme.