OECS / USAID Early Learners Programme advances culturally relevant content!
OECS Early grade readers will have 50,998 new Caribbean authored books for the coming school year.
Thursday, August 13, 2020 — In an effort to ensure that early grade readers in the OECS have access to a wide range of developmental and culturally relevant books, the OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme (ELP) developed the Write to Read programme to create locally authored reading resources. The Write to Read programme began as an OECS/USAID ELP competition in 2019 to provide the unique opportunity for local authors of all ages to create children’s literature for early grade readers. In December 2019, authors from four OECS Member States: Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada received 1st to 3rd place prizes in Children’s, Teachers and Other Adults categories. The Programme is currently publishing forty-three (43) entrants’ books in print and electronic book formats for distribution and use in OECS Member State (MS) schools in the coming school year.
The OECS/USAID ELP recognizes the tremendous shortage of culturally relevant books in schools across the OECS. Building on the work of organisations such as Hands Across the Sea, the ELP will provide schools with culturally relevant student books and teaching materials. These types of books engage young learners and contribute to the enhancement of local culture and traditions. Research in education continues to underscore how access to engaging and culturally relevant reading resources is a significant factor in sustaining students’ motivation and interest in reading.
Speaking on the Write to Read programme, Reading Specialist at the OECS/USAID ELP, Lisa Sargusingh-Terrence stated:
“The ELP could think of no better source for children’s books than the children, parents, teachers and other members of the Caribbean community. Therefore, we invited K – 3 students, teachers, and community members to create or co-create culturally relevant children’s books for use in the classroom. With twenty (20) students participating, the ‘Write to Read’ initiative has helped students learn writing strategies that authors employ such as idea generation, drafting, sharing, and critiquing with peers, revising and editing. The printing and distribution of almost 51,000 locally/regionally authored books is a significant undertaking. These books contribute to a regional library of reading material that will support the development of a culture of reading in OECS classrooms and homes.”
Since its inception, the OECS/USAID ELP has supported the development of excellent pedagogy and instruction for early grade readers with an effort to ensure increased access to engaging and culturally relevant reading resources. In addition to the upcoming publication and printing of Write to Read texts, the ELP purchased and delivered over 12,700 culturally relevant texts to classrooms across the OECS Member States in March 2019.
The OECS/USAID is pleased to share the list of Write to Read authors and their books.
Because I Sound Different by Karina Daniel and Jill Patterson
Kité Nou Konté Let Us Count by Marguerite-Joan Joseph
Poetry: La Diablesse, The Ligaroo and the Baccoo by Students of Grand Roy Government School
Play: The Baccoo by Students of Grand Roy Government School
Coconut Water by Kervyn Gangadeen
The Man in the Forest by Shandy Langaigne
Tim’s Terrible Fall by Jordan Bisha
Peanut and the Monster Under the Bed by A.L. Dawn French
A Day Spent at the Lake with the Notorious Trouble Makers John and Jerry by Tizyana Mclelland
Mummy’s Busy Week by Sabrina Pevrille
Music the Key to Life by Pearl Tench
Papa Days by Cecilie Belmar Desir
Pat’s Walk by Sabrina Pevrille
Poetic Expressions by Teacher and Students of St. Aloysius R.C. Boys School
Prismeer by Matej Tobias
Poems by Sharlen Pologne Edgar
Surprise! Surprise! by Elizabeth John
The Adventures of Possum by Ryn-Kyj King and Wynnykyj King
The District One Road Race by Trezure Charley
The Miserable Twins by Désirée S. Francois
The Soursop Song by Cornelia Ann Shirley Lubin
Up Up and Away by Haelee Stevens
The Princess Garden - Author unknown
A World of Word Families - Author not provided
Hello Frog - Author not provided
Naughty Henna - Author not provided
St. Kitts and Nevis
Getting on the Menu by Kimoy P. Sweeney Illustrated by Kishmoy Underwood
Peacock and the Computer by Tebron Flemming and Dr. Sandra Flemming
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
A Day With Tanty Eveleyn by Caeli Samuel
Number Rhymes by Susan Scott John
Master Marc Learns to Walk by Athalie Caine-Soleyn
The Attack of the Chicken Hawk by Ayana Evans-Little
The Symbols of St. Vincent and the Grenadines by Damian Ballantyne
Faces by Perkina Carrington and Gaylene Wickham
The Pied Flutist by Koesha Burke
St. Vincent and Grenadines National Symbols by Khaleil McInnis
A Woman I Know by Niesha John
Why Cats Hate Rats by Sonelle Sonelia Pope
Ariel’s Story by Ariel Mapp
Bernard the Bully by Jillian A. Findlay-Bailey
Caddy the Caterpillar by Jillian A. Findlay-Bailey
Frens Again by Edmira Walker
How I Became a Ducuna by Avelyn Gittens Theobalds
Lizard in my House by Yohan and Phelia Haynes
About OECS/USAID ELP:
OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme is a Programme within the Education Development Management Unit of the OECS Commission and was established in March 2015 to improve the reading skills of children in the early primary grades with the goal of providing a foundation for improved learning outcomes and enhanced opportunities for students in the six (6) independent Member States of the OECS (Antigua and Barbuda, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines).
To date the ELP has achieved a number of tangible outputs with over 17,000 learners reached at the Primary level, over 1500 Grades K to 3 teachers supported through job embedded professional development, 1426 lessons observed and 1031 coaching sessions with teachers have been completed by ELP Coordinators. Further, 60 schools across the Member States have received development grants to support reading enhancement projects and 173,114 teaching and learning materials have been provided to 750 classrooms across the OECS. The OECS/USAID ELP will run through to September 2020 continuing to develop and implement impactful initiatives that advance early grade reading throughout the OECS.