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Increase reading programmes - author

Published:Friday | April 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM
An animated Helen Williams engages students of Barracks Road Primary School in Montego Bay as she reads to them from 'Delroy in the Marog Kingdom', which she authored, during a Western Union I PLEDGE programme on Wednesday. - Photo by Sheena Gayle

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer


Author and volunteer Helen Williams has called for the introduction of more reading programmes in primary schools to help students become more articulate in speech and writing.

"Whether it is summer reading programmes at the library, or programmes like what Western Union has initiated, these would help develop students to do better in English language," said Williams, who volunteered to be part of Western Union's I PLEDGE (I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education) reading programme at the Barracks Road Primary School in Montego Bay.

Western Union's I PLEDGE Programme 2010, which started in 2004, is an initiative of GraceKennedy Money Services, through the remittance brand. The programme seeks to support the development of primary education in Jamaica, through focus on improving literacy, particularly reading.

Daniel Town Primary in Trelawny; Pell River Primary, Hanover; Petersfield Primary, Westmoreland; and Barracks Road Primary, Montego Bay, were the schools chosen to participate from western Jamaica.

Students receptive

Williams, who taught at both the primary and secondary level in Jamaica for more than 30 years, commended the remittance agency for the initiative, adding that the students were very receptive and involved throughout the entire reading session.

"You could see the excitement and the curiosity as the story was being read.

"They want to read, but I think there is a gap in the novels that are available for children from eight to 13 years old," she said, while reading from the book Delroy in the Marog Kingdom.

Tanya Martin of Western Union echoed similar sentiments adding that the children welcomed the idea of having outsiders read to them.

"It made them feel important," Martin said. "They appreciated the fact that persons, besides teachers, were reading to them, and you could see the intrigue and interest in their eyes. They wanted more."