As parents have been challenged to play a more pivotal role in children’s at-home learning, the Early Learners Programme (ELP) and the Early Childhood Education Department in Grenada’s Ministry of Education (MOE) offers guidance and support to parents.
On 17 and 24 June 2020, both departments of Grenada’s MOE collaborated to host an online video presentation series entitled “Literacy Outreach to Parents.” Over 480 parents joined the calls seeking guidance on how to better support their children with reading and learning at home.
Presentations included “Tips on Coping for Parents and Students” by Carriacou School Counsellor, Nadina Williams; “How Parents Can Support Oral Development” by ELP Coordinator Lynette Isaacs; “The Joy of ‘Read Alouds’” by ELP Coordinator Natalie Pierre-Calliste; and “How to Set Routines” by Nicurl Fletcher-Newton, an early childhood education officer. The sessions lasted well over 3 hours due to questions posed by parents on the presentations. Parents asked for a follow-up session on using reading materials in the home and an open question and answer session with a school counsellor, among other topics The ELP and the Early Childhood Education Department are working to facilitate additional sessions.
Speaking about the series, ELP National Focal Point, Karen Celestine said, “The session participation exceeded our expectations. Based on simple flier promotion on social media, it was exciting to see such a tremendous turnout with over 50 persons joining the call before the start time. There was a wide cross section of parents from both public and private schools at different socio-economic levels. It was evident that parents needed this intervention. We were very happy to facilitate and guide parents — who in turn are now better equipped to support their children at home.”
One parent, Dwight Williams, was pleased to participate and said, “The information was quite useful and refreshing. Although I knew some aspects of the content, it was good to get clarification, and obtain new information to support my wife and children with at-home learning. My biggest takeaway from the 2 sessions was that every child can learn. Even when parents may have doubt about their child’s ability — they can learn — and this made me very hopeful for children throughout Grenada!”
This activity is consistent with the OECS/USAID ELP Covid-19 Response strategy which includes providing support to parents and families for engaging students at home with reading.