USAID / OECS Media Release
Thursday, February 14, 2019 — The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is partnering with the United States in an ongoing effort to promote national literacy. Young students and parents in Kingstown were thrilled as they paraded in costumes of their favorite story book characters and were treated to performances when the Reading Road Show rolled out on February 8, under the theme of “Literacy on the Go: Read. Learn. Grow.”
As part of national activities to celebrate literacy, the event was organized by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the United States Government-supported OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme (ELP).
The event promoted the importance of learning to read at an early age and motivate teachers, students, parents and the wider public to engage in more reading activities.
Participating teachers and students encouraged onlookers to read as they did a brief march around downtown Kingstown accompanied by a Reading Road Show truck.
Led by Mr. Ashar Bulcher, Project Field Officer, and Mrs. Edmira Walker, the Ministry of Gender Affairs and ELP Coordinator, participants assembled at Heritage Square for a rally.
The children’s excitement was clearly evident as they sat captivated while enjoying the various performances and stories promoting reading.
Head of the Education Development Management Unit (EDMU), Ms. Sisera Simon, explained the importance of early literacy.
“This reading roadshow is in keeping with the region’s vision of improving early literacy for all and seeks to focus attention on the value of literacy in the foundation years.
“This is a responsibility not only that of the schools rather, it is a collective endeavor of parents, churches and even corporate society” said Ms. Simon.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported education initiative is improving the reading proficiency of children in Kindergarten to Grade 3 in six OECS countries. The Reading Road Show created further awareness of the regional Project and focused the nation’s attention on the importance of literacy.
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.