On Saturday 3 December, the Grenada Community Library hosted its 2nd annual Fundraising Gala at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort under the theme “The Storybook.”
Announced was the special news of a permanent home at #7 Lucas Street, thanks to the generous private donation from local attorney-at-law, Mr James Bristol. This 2-storey building (2,322 sq ft, with a real-estate rental value of EC$120,000 per year, historical Taylor House) will be dedicated to Library & Resource Centre use, in the school-centered area of St George’s — rent-free. This unprecedented individual support for library services and community literacy makes Mr Bristol the Grenada Community Library’s first and very much beloved patron.
The sold-out gala was filled with heart-warming tales of the Library’s adventures, spirited live entertainment, a mural painting station contributed to by the guests, and cocoa-infused cuisine dreamed up by True Blue Bay’s 22-year-old Head Chef, Cardine Joseph.
2016 has been a whirlwind year for the only free library in town. In May, it launched its very first publication, which evolved out of stories written by the children of the library’s free creative writing class. This book has been nominated for the International Gourmand Cookbook award. Several corporate Partners for Literacy were present, with 5 already having pledged to donate EC $1,000 per year for 3 years, in support of youth-librarian professional development, namely L’anse aux Epines Cottages, Grenada Montessori & Preparatory School, QuinnCo, Mt Cinnamon, and True Blue Bay Boutique Resort. Numerous other individual donations were also made on this special evening by new and recurring Friends of the Library, and longstanding special friend of the Library – Hon. Min. Alexandra Otway–Noel.
The new Library board consists of Magdalena Fielden, Kriss Davies (Chair) Oonya Kempadoo (Co-Founder), Jared James (Treasurer), and Aaron Sylvester (Public Relations Officer).
With its steadily and rapidly growing membership of 2,000 persons — the majority of which are children — and the increasing demand for free literacy, numeracy and creativity programmes, the Library was in need of a larger and more permanent home. James Bristol’s donation came at the right time — the Library looks forward to announcing its new plans and better services, which will include a tech and training room, a boys book club, a professional development programme, job-readiness and all sorts of workshops and community events. This will be done with a press launch and soft opening in the first week of January at #7 Lucas Street.
Oonya Kempadoo, on behalf of the library team of volunteers and membership, is quoted, “It takes a village to raise a child — and a community to raise a library or literacy levels… We learn through modeling, and so a library is a home for book lovers — a home of a culture of reading, where children can see others reading, teens, adults, and importantly, men, reading. And reading for pleasure, and the practice of reading, beyond school texts — this is what makes someone truly and functionally literate. Thanks again to Jimmy Bristol for his generosity and for making this gala an evening of great celebration!”
Grenada Community Library