Sunset Optimist Club assists Mountain View Primary
For more than six years, the Sunset Optimist Club of Kingston has been assisting the Mountain View Primary School through various fundraising efforts to erect and outfit the school’s library.
Apart from the reading programme and the library, the club has assisted the school in many ways, such as hosting Saturday classes, funding a breakfast programme and converting all the chalkboards at the school to more environmentally friendly whiteboards.
This year, the 2019-20 Club President Shainee Myles chose to take it a step further by starting a new programme dubbed ‘Let’s Read – Moulding Young Minds’, a reading programme at the school targeting different age groups through motivating and inspirational reading sessions with Jamaican authors.
“We understand that without adequate nutrition, a child cannot learn, so we were happy to have Chas E. Ramson on board to fête the children with their brands Foska and Milkana,” she said.
“The Optimist Club was founded 100 years ago to bring out the best in youth,” Myles said.
“About seven years ago, we engaged the Mountain View Primary to find out how we could assist the school. At the time, we noticed the school didn’t have a library. So, we raised funds to build one. We are also serious about literacy and we decided to focus on grade-four students because that is a critical point in their education as they intensify preparations for PEP. So, we launched the literacy programme to assist them,” she said.
The first reading programme was held recently and featured the multitalented Naomi Garrick with her book Be A Unicorn. Garrick guided the curious grades five and six students through creating positive affirmations, defining who they are and setting goals – all of which is also within her book.
Myles explained that the club was passionate about the programme because reading was fundamental in the learning experience. She added that allowing the children to meet and interact with local authors who they could identify with enhanced the experience.
“We wanted them to identify and relate to the authors to let them now that these were Jamaicans and they wrote these books. It was also an opportunity to meet the authors and that the sessions could be very engaging. We also wanted it be fun and that we chose books that could help with their development,” she said.
“There are four overall activities in the series during the 2019-20 academic year with the next scheduled for January 2020 with Sacheen Laing, a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award,” Myles said.
She has written two books, Curly Hair Club for girls and Thrones, Not Cells for boys. “We will be targeting grade-four students for the January staging and we plan to make contact with other local authors for future staging,” she added. She is happy that the club can do activities such as this and fulfil their mandate of ‘Bringing Out The Best In Kids’.
Vice-principal of the school, Lisa Bailey, expressed her gratitude to the club for the continued support.