By Gerry Hopkin, JD
‘Embracing the past; empowering the future,’ is the significantly compelling theme of the first ever large-scale, combined secondary schools alumni reunion to be held in any Caribbean state, here in Grenada, from 30 July to 5 August, 2015.
Consistent with the above theme, the date 1 August, which is historically celebrated as Emancipation Day in Grenada, will this year be fittingly recognized also as ‘Read Across Grenada Day,’ based on a recent official Grenada Cabinet approval of an empowerment initiative of the Organizing Committee responsible for the Grenada 2015 Alumni Week Reunion activities.
The ‘Read Across Grenada Day’ initiative will engage reunion participants as volunteers conducting a Mobile Read Tour around the nation, complete with reading sessions, distribution of free books and school supplies to primary school students, as well as delivery of books and other school supplies to schools. Many of the participant-volunteers would be flown down on a specially reserved Caribbean Airlines flight, which leaves the USA on 29 July. The return date is 12 August.
“Initially 1,120 students will benefit from reading activities and distribution of books, book-bags and school supplies,” said Frances Purcell, who along with Pat Adams, are the co-chairpersons of the Grenada 2015 Alumni Week Committee.
“Our goal here is simple — to enduringly help inspire and encourage the children of Grenada to have a lifelong love of reading and learning,” says Adams.
Together, Adams and Purcell initiated the convening of an Organizing Committee of leaders residing in the Diaspora and in Grenada, to develop and execute a detailed agenda and tactical plan.
The concept which began as a planned staging of a reunion for secondary school graduates of the 1970s, has evolved into a combined reunion open to anyone who attended a secondary school in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, along with their friends and family members.
In the long-term, the Grenada Alumni Committee will be staging other combined reunions for different decades, as well as supporting the establishment of a Children’s Public Library in Grenada, and maintaining a scholarship program and the ‘Read Across Grenada Day’ Initiative.
This event can be seen as an opportunity for Grenadians at home and in the Diaspora to come together to reconnect, celebrate the past and collaborate in making a difference and cultivating options that would enable development of and prosperity for our future leaders.
In order to support the ‘Read Across Grenada’ initative, one may visit the Amazon wish list and purchase needed books, as requested by school principals in Grenada.
Finally, to obtain additional information, to sponsor and to register for participation in the Grenada Alumni Week Activities, interested individuals may visit www.gda2015alumniweek.com, or call 917-282-9405 (NYC) or 473-440-7040 (Registration Desk at the National Museum in Grenada).