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Anansi to the rescue.... Children benefit from book on Anansi proceeds

Published:Thursday | June 11, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Storytelling time with Elethia Rickham.

ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:

A FOLKLORE legend, Anansi, has come to the aid of children in St Ann in quite a meaningful way.

The St Ann Parish Library recently received a television set, DVD player, DVDs and several books thanks to proceeds from sales of the book Anansi and the Alligator Eggs, by Sir Phillip Sherlock.

The items have been designated for the children's library.

Anansi and the Alligator Eggs was first published more than 40 years ago, but has been republished thanks to St Ann resident Elethia Rickham.

Rickham has gone a step further and translated the book into Spanish, with the new edition having both English and Spanish translations.

"The library needs assistance because the budget has been cut, children need resources that will help them get along," Rickham said in explaining the reason behind the donation.

"There is a wishlist that is 'this long' for millions of dollars which I would never be able to fulfil, but because of a present that my aunt gave to the library, we bought a television set; a DVD player; my daughter, Alexandra Rickham, contributed some DVDs which she got, and we were able to publish that story book on Anansi and the Alligator Eggs, which, the proceeds from the sales will continue to help the library get things from their wishlist."

Her daughter, Alexandra, was born in Jamaica, but has represented Britain in the Paralympics on several occasions. Having heard about the plan, she came forward and offered several DVDs to be part of the package.

Rickham actually visited the library more than five years ago and started helping the children to learn to read. She thought then, it was necessary for them to get more things.

"And so I decided that anything that I can do, I would do," she added.

She further explained: "I studied Spanish as a language and I worked with a charity in Kingston called Operation Friendship which, 40 years ago, published that book. Annabella Proudlock, who died recently, was the one at Operation Friendship who published the book.

"With the funds that I got from my great aunt, we decided that we would re-publish the book. The illustrations were done by Susan Judah - she said yes, there's no reason we shouldn't do it. Plus, it is in English and Spanish. My work was the translation of the story into Spanish so it can be used as a resource book in schools."

Acting Senior Librarian Kelonie Noble was pleased with the donation.

"The St Ann Parish Library network is very happy and proud to have received the flat screen television, the DVD player and DVDs that were donated by Mrs Rickham, we're very happy for that," Noble said.

rural@gleanerjm.com