USAID/OECS Early Learners Write to Read Initiative: Winning Authors Recognised

USAID/OECS Early Learners Write to Read Initiative: Winning Authors Recognised

USAID / OECS Media Release

An innovative effort by the United States Government-supported OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme (ELP) to develop more adult and child authors in the region, came to a successful conclusion with broad participation from aspiring authors.

The “Write to Read Programme,” which identifies and encourages aspiring teacher and student authors, is an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project implemented in collaboration with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

On February 7, educators, teachers, students and parents gathered at Frenches House in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines to recognize the winners of the inaugural program.

A total of 95 entries were received from teachers and students in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 29 in poetry, 38 in fiction, and 28 in non-fiction categories.

At the end of the competition, there were 29 prize winners – the youngest being only 6 years old. Kingstown Preparatory School received the prize for submitting the most entries, a total of 29.

Phyllis Duncan-Dacosta, of Lowmans Windward Anglican School Primary School, was declared first place winner among teachers for her entries in the poetry and non-fiction categories.

Anna Warrican of Kingstown Preparatory won first place for her entry in the fiction category. She also received special recognition from the judges for her writing and illustration skills.

Head of the OECS Education Development Management Unit, Ms. Sisera Simon said the importance of the awards went beyond just symbolism.

 "Awards are a way to encourage positive behaviour and inculcate competitive spirit. The awards to be distributed today are not just for recognizing those students who have participated in the Write to Read programme but to also encourage others to do so in the future.

"I encourage the Ministry of Education and schools to continue encouraging the production of authentic resources that are responsive to the reading needs of our students at all levels." said Ms. Simon.

The Write to Read Programme created the opportunity for authors of all ages to have their children’s literature published or used as supplemental reading material throughout the region.

This novel initiative of the Early Learners Programme allows greater public participation in the ELP’s efforts to develop the reading skills of young readers while instilling a love for books.

About the USAID/OECS Early Learners Programme (ELP)

The USAID/OECS Early Learners Programme (ELP) is a reading development program supported by the United States Government, through USAID, and administered by the OECS Commission. The ELP influences essential aspects of policy and practice to improve reading levels of all learners at the early primary level (Grade K to Grade 3) in the six OECS member states of Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The ELP strengthens teacher skills through a myriad of professional development opportunities; improves the quality of teaching through child-centered and evidence-based approaches, and the provision of culturally and gender relevant resources. Both formative and summative assessments inform stakeholder plans for appropriate reading instructional activities for all learners in the Early Learners Programme.

   This story aligns with OECS Strategic Objective No.3: Promote and support equity and social inclusion; and leverage the cultural and linguistic diversity of the OECS.
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Oliver Insanally Communication Consultant, OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme
OECS Communication Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Oliver Insanally Communication Consultant, OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme
OECS Communication Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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