Fifteen primary schools have been selected to receive $6,500 from a US$36,000 grant made available by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the OECS Education Management Unit to develop a programme to help to improve reading at the early grades.
The schools are The Newtown Primary, Morne Jaune Primary, Mahaut Primary, Goodwill Primary, Kaleb Laurent Primary, Castle Bruce Primary, Dos D’Ane Primary, Wesley Primary, Paix Bouche Primary, Penville Primary, Bense Primary, Colihaut Primary, Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary and Salisbury Primary.
Teachers and Principals of the various schools received the donation at a two-day OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme opening ceremony held at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Building on Monday.
“This is certainly another way that we can provide support to our schools in their effort to improve reading standards at the respective institutions,” Education Minister Petter Saint Jean said while delivering remarks at the ceremony. “You just heard that fifteen of our primary schools have been selected to receive a maximum of $6,500 towards what we consider a sustainable reading enhancement initiative.”
He continued, “The project, which will be developed over the next two days through what is being called the Innovative Lab Session, will have the potential to build enthusiasm for and competences in reading.”
Saint Jean revealed that the primary schools were specifically selected having met the criteria that were required.
“It is our hope that the successful implementation of this project, together with all the other initiatives towards literacy improvement that there will be a mass improvement in the reading performance of students at all of these 15 schools,” he remarked.
He pointed out that that reading is fundamental to functioning in today’s society.
“An individual is limited in what he or she can accomplish without good written skills and as an education system that functions with the vision that each child succeeds, it is imperative that we empower our students with the capacity to improve their reading competences,” Saint Jean stated.