Grenada: The Most Literate Island in the Caribbean

On Monday 20th February  the children of the Vendomme Primary School filed into their auditorium -fingers on lips-a reminder that they needed to remain silent and listen attentively to the exciting news that was about to be shared that morning (a very tall order for any primary school child).

Russ Fielden, one of the owners of our idyllic boutique resort hosted the mornings’ assembly and the official handing over ceremony of the primary school’s library from the patronage of True Blue Bay Boutique Resort to Grenada Schools Incorporated (GSI).

Special guests included representatives from the the Ministry of Education: Ms. Gloria Bonapart and Ms. Andrea Phillip,  guests from the Calabash Hotel  Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, Ms. Marie Fielden- Human Resource Manager at our boutique resort and Mr. Leo Garbutt owner of Calabash Hotel and co-founder of GSI.

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GSI is a non profit organization launched in June 2015. GSI  has partnered with the international organization Room to Read and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development to deliver the project “Strengthening the foundation of early literacy in Grenada”.

The project, which is to last three years, seeks to do the following in order to make Grenada the most literate island in the Caribbean:

  1. Train teachers as literacy coaches
  2. These teachers will then deliver reading instruction based on the literacy coaching methods.
  3. Establishment/Upgrading  of School Libraries

At the Vendomme  Primary School in particular GSI will perform an infrastructural assessment to see whether the library meets its established benchmarks in terms of: furnishing, access to computers and books. If the the Library does not meet the benchmarks then the necessary adjustments will be made to enhance the library.

In 2016 alone GSI intends to rebuild or enhance 10-12 primary school libraries.

Primary School Library in Hermitage St. Patrick built by GSI.

The Vendomme Primary School library was built by our boutique resort as the third phase of our project the rebuild the entire school after its destruction by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Together with the support of  generous local businesses and hotel guests we managed to raise over EC $ 325,000. The school building was completely rebuilt in 2014 after 8 years of deplorable learning conditions. Later on the bathrooms were upgraded and finally the library was built. The Vendomme Primary School boasts the first air conditioned primary school library in Grenada. Read more about the Vendomme School story on our website.

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Ms. Bonapart, the Principal of the Vendomme Primary School expressed a heartfelt thank you to Russ Fielden and the our team on behalf for the school for the wonderful library which has served their school for many years.

The celebrations continued that morning as a new stove and fridge were donated to the school’s kitchen for the better delivery of the School Feeding program. A cheque was handed over from Calabash hotel guests Martin and Cheryl Thompson to help with the enhancement of the library.

To show their gratitude for the many gift the school received that day the children sang songs with endearing lyrics like “Thank You Thank You we love you” and recited poems written on colorfully decorated paper.

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The morning’s celebrations culminated with a visit to the school’s library. The children eagerly grabbed their favorite books and took full advantage of the opportunity to read…to read simply for pleasure.

How can you help Grenada achieve it’s goal of a more literate Grenada?

We have partnered with Pack for a Purpose which helps you to make your travels that much more meaningful. Pack a few school supplies or books next to your swimming costume and sunblock and facilitate a child’s curiosity to learn.

We are also the official partner for literacy during the month of March at the Grenada Community Library– the only public library in our capital city. Check out their amazon book wishlist on their website to find out how you can contribute to the Library’s collections.

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