The Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on February 28 received a donation which should assist them with their efforts to improve students’ performance in mathematics and expand engagement with the arts.
“We have been working very hard at mathematics,” Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Girlyn Miguel said.
She was at the time speaking at the handover of more than US$1 million worth in education material, which will be distributed across the various secondary and primary schools in the country.
The donation was made possible through the collaborative effort of a group based in the United States, the Global Literacy Project Inc. (GLP) and the Rotary Club South.
According to Grenville Williams, president of the Rotary Club South, Denniston Bonadie of the Global Literacy Project, Inc. realized there were a number of areas, particularly in education, that needed some support.
“As a result he coordinated with a number of persons to gather material,” he said.
The items collected have a particular focus on mathematics and the Arts.
“He looked at maths because he realized that there were some challenges in a particular area and that any assistance given can certainly lend to the further development and enhancement of the student capacity and capability in this area,” Williams continued.
This is the second major donation organized by the GLP, following the arrival several years ago of a quantity of items relating to science, literacy and other areas. The centerpiece of that donation was a series of science kits that allowed for students to have hands on-engagement in innovative ways.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Nicole Baker said that these kits were provided to all schools across the country, especially those where a science laboratory was not present. Baker noted that the kits also allowed the Ministry to take advantage of an European Union offer to provide professional development for science teachers across the nation.
For the current donation the Global Literacy Project, Inc. partnered with Brother’s Brother Foundation, a 53-year old Pittsburgh-based international charity that specializes in medical, educational, agricultural and other resources, to acquire the specialized materials. In view of the budgetary constraints of the Rotary Club the GLP group also organized support from several groups including the Steele Family Foundation in the USA to offset shipping costs.
According to Bonadie it is hoped to interest this combination of supporters to arrange further support of development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The 27,000 items are now being classified readied for distribution to various schools.
“When we have finished the cataloging and classification of these items, all material will be placed in secondary and primary schools so that all of our students can have access to this material,” Michelle Cuffy, Director of Library Services said.
She further explained that the national library was embarking on a number of initiatives, including book and homework clubs, so that all the material received would be put to use to further develop the minds of the young people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The United Nations’ (UN) International Literacy Day annually falls on September 8. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its partners promote the day to raise people’s awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world and to underline the significance of literacy for healthy societies.
According to UNESCO, “Despite many and varied efforts, literacy remains an elusive target: some 796 million adults lack minimum literacy skills which means that about one in six adults is still not literate; 67.4 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.”
The theme for the 2011 International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Peace”.
The Global Literacy Project is currently collecting school supplies for local New Brunswick, New Jersey children.
Items will be donated to the various kindergarten and elementary school programs throughout the city that the organization works with. Top of the list will be the nearly 60 families whose kindergarten students at Tiny Tots are participating in this year’s “Take Reading Home” with Rutgers University student volunteers.
GLP hopes to ease the burden on these families by helping to stuff their children’s backpacks with new notebooks, erasers, pencils, etc.
Teens from the New Brunswick community shared original writing and competed for prizes in a poetry performance contest, “Share it Out Loud,” at the New Brunswick Free Public Library on Thursday, May 5. The program, sponsored by the Global Literacy Project, Inc. and the GOYA project at Rutgers University, featured members of the poetry collective Verbal Mayhem.
Verbal Mayhem members performed original poetry to open up the event. Following their performance, the poets and teacher/GLP volunteer Meryl Ironson helped teens choose and practice poems for the competition, and then the teens were invited to read. Teens could read their original work or choose a poem provided at the program.
Imagine studying geography without a map or learning about economic migration without a window into the country right next door to you. For many students in the townships of South Africa, social studies is very abstract but an excited group of Rutgers University students, members of the Africana House of the Douglass Residential College are transforming a classroom in the heart of Soweto into a social studies room that will connect township students with the wider world. Working alongside local educators and South African college students, the primary school classroom will be repainted, the floor tiled and and the furniture repaired. A variety of media resources will also be installed to create an enriched environment.
The women from the Africana House have been working towards this goal for the past five months. The participated in the Global Literacy Project’s “Walk for Literacy” to raise funding towards the trip and they volunteered in GLP’s New Jersey elementary school reading programs to gain experience.
The core idea of installing a social studies room at the Thabisile Primary School is actually an outgrowth of GLP’s multi-year School-to-School partnership between Thabisile in South Africa and the Chatham Day School (CDS) in New Jersey. During the 2010 school year, students at CDS conducted several book drives and fund raisers for Thabisile. This included a fundraisers around bead-work created by Thabisile students and parents that was brought back to CDS. In deciding what project GLP should support with the CDS donation, inspiration came from the popular social studies room at CDS.
The project is now underway and by next week we should see a final report with pictures!
Thank you for working with us as global citizens transforming the world in 2010. We truly appreciate everything you do and are excited to continue our collaboration in the year ahead.
We were so proud to celebrate our 10th anniversary with you in 2010. In that celebration we acknowledged that GLP is about bringing together individuals, institutions and communities to share educational materials and global knowledge as well as providing service learning opportunities for students in the USA and abroad. We are tremendously optimistic about 2011 and we expect to expand and build upon the accomplishments of the recent past.
Just think about what important initiatives you are supporting through GLP…
Our 2010 “Walk for Literacy” inspired a record large number of participants. We raised funds to support our reading program in 17 kindergarten classrooms across the city of New Brunswick (New Jersey). Inspired by GLP, a group of Douglass College students who participated in the walkathon will be making their first ever trip out of the USA to visit/work in our South Africa sites from January 3rd-14th.
The Shakur family is in South India working with young Dalit women who are striving to better their economic condition by gaining a nursing education. Christina and Milena Lurie are supporting students at the Lady Lynne Joyful Home and associated schools.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Nicole Baker, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education oversaw distributions of books as part of our holiday book give aways.
In New Brunswick, New Jersey, members of the Rutgers African American Alumni Alliance came out to help at the New Brunswick Library Holiday party.
The Steele family helped to ensured that we were able to distribute books to 17 kindergarten classrooms for the holidays. They are also important supporters of our annual shipment of a container of books to South Africa.
Meryl Ironson continues to foster the classrooms connection program between New Jersey’s Bragg School and Randfontein Primary School in South Africa. The two classrooms just received their latest pen pal letters!
The Combias family joined us on December 22nd in South Africa to host a holiday party and book give aways at the Zuurbekom school where they previously helped to install a GLP science room.
In Kenya, Olubayi is hosting a holiday party in Western Kenya.
Capacity building and service learning…
Our sincere appreciation to Denise and Dean Vanech, who have been wonderful members of our extended family, and who have supported our vision to expand and transform our administrative structures so that we might better document our program model as well as developing the capacity to support/expand our service learning opportunities for students.
Denise and her daughter Christina have been important to the development of our “From Shacks to Scholarship” initiative in South Africa and Christina’s brother Nicky helped to support the School-to-School initiative between the Tabisile Primary School in Soweto and the Chatham Day School in New Jersey.
Capacity building is going to be our mantra for 2011. As such we are grateful to the following wonderful people who are ongoing stalwart supporters of key regional programs.
Our sincere thanks to: (L–>R) The Steele Family: Mike & Jane Steele shown (New Jersey, Caribbean and South Africa); Christina and Milena Lurie (South India); Fountain Baptist Church Members: Shirley Hill, Joe & Jeanette Goodson shown (Kenya)…
Summer 2011 Learning Expeditions & Internships
Anne DeLaney (in red sweater at left) and the DeLaney-Carver family will be leading another group trip to Randfontein this 2011.
Kendal Hall (at right) is working with Juanita Lewis on a Global Learning Expedition made up of alumni as well as present students from Rutgers University.
Also in South Africa, we will be hosting interns from Princeton University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Rutgers University for six to eight weeks in July August.
- Olubayi will be in Kenya all of July 2011 developing our two to four week internship program in Western Kenya.
- Ka’sandra Simmons will be leading a pilot internship in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the summer.
The above are just scratching the surface of 2011!
Have a great new year and we look forward to your boundless participation!
And it wouldn’t be the end of the year if we didn’t ask you to think of GLP as you plan your charitable giving. We are a non-profit organization, dependent on our supporters for sufficient operating funds to keep these programs going. You can be a HUGE part of GLP by donating money, your time, your talents, and your energy….there’s plenty to do!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
From all of us at the Global Literacy Project, Inc.
New Brunswick, New Jersey— GLP will join with our Rutgers University student affiliate, the GOYA Project, to support our hometown library (The New Brunswick Public Library) and their holiday event for local children. Kids are urged to come celebrate winter holidays from around the world at the winter party. Learn something new, make a craft, enjoy a snack, and get a free book!
2 – 4 PM in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room,
(New Brunswick Free Public Library, 60 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick NJ 08901. For more information, please call the Children’s Room at 732-745-5108 x15 or email Ms. Sara Warrick at email@example.com)
For this event GLP will give each attending child the choice of a book to take home so long as they also choose a book for another child in their community. GLP volunteers will wrap the books and help the children address the presents. We are very happy to accept donations for the give aways. We also need volunteers willing to be in costume for picture taking with the attending elementary students.
Friends of GLP Around the World are Urged to Support Holiday Book Give Aways
We are encouraging our supporters around the world to hold similar events. Olubayi is organizing events for Western Kenya and South Africa and Denniston is arranging for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Shehnaz is recruiting her sons to be in costume for the New Brunswick event. Please let us know if you are hoping to support similar events.
Book Drive By the Bragg School Triples Planned For Goal!
On Saturday, December 4, 2010, Bragg School fifth graders renewed their partnership with Randfontein Primary School of South Africa, beginning with a book drive in which they collected 22,000 books. Meryl Ironson, a fifth grade teacher at Bragg and a Global Literacy Project volunteer organized the book drive in collaboration with her fifth grade class.
Meryl visited the South African school in 2008 as part of the follow up to a smaller book drive. She returned with videos, photos and letters of the children that many Bragg students had befriended. Since then, with the support of the school principal and faculty of the Bragg School she has nurtured a connection between the two schools. This past spring they published their second “Teaching Minds, Reaching Hearts” joint poetry anthology.
A central goal of the program she developed with GLP’s assistance is to teach students that while they are citizens of their community, they are also citizens of the world. The book drive is the community outreach portion of a program, involving social studies and language arts classes.
Later in the year, pen pal letters will be exchanged and poetry will be used to unite the children of two continents. Poetry anthologies will be created by children at Bragg and Randfontein and a “Poetry Slam” or “Eistefodd,” as it is known in South Africa, will be featured in the spring.
In attendance were the Superintendent of Schools for Chester (Dr. Christina Van Woert), Bragg School Principal Dan Johnson, Nicole Macaluso, a fifth grade science teacher who partnered with Meryl to assist in developing the project, as well as many of the teachers from Bragg School along with hundreds of parents.
For more information about the Classroom to Classroom Connection, “Teaching Minds, Reaching Hearts” poetry anthology or for information on how to run a community book drive, contact Dr. Emeka Akaezuwa of GLP at Emeka@glpinc.org.
A Story of the Puerto Rican Action Board (New Jersey) and Two Committed Staff Members
New Brunswick, NJ., November, 2010-The Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) had modest beginnings around volunteer efforts to provide adult English classes to recently arrived migrants to the New Brunswick area. By the middle of the 1970s the PRAB was established as the first full time bilingual/ multilingual curriculum daycare Center for children ages 2 ½ to 5 in NJ. Since that time the PRAB has expanded and intensified its efforts to improve local neighborhoods by providing: child care, youth development, job training and placement opportunities, housing counseling, rehabilitation, construction and weatherization of homes, community advocacy, and community development activities.
The PRAB is important as an example of the change that nonprofits can make in a community. The Global Literacy Project became aware of the PRAB’s outreach to low income children in the community several years ago and began an initiative whereby three times per year new books were donated to all the children participating in the daycare and kindergarten programs. In the last two years, in response to feedback from Joyce Chase, Director of Education, and Site Directors Darshna Amarnani and Adriana Crosby, that the children could benefit from interaction with native English speakers GLP piloted a reading program in 17 classes across the city. The program was well received and in the Fall of 2010 GLP won a grant from the Verizon Foundation to expand the reading initiative at one site, the daycare facility where Site Director Shari Boyington had a number of exciting ideas. The “Take Reading Home” program brings students from Rutgers University to read to the children via a series of structured phonics books that build reading and oral skills. The books are matched with a software program that reproduces the book as a game. The students then receive smaller versions of the books to take home and read to their parents or other family members.
Much of the Puerto Rican Action Board’s daycare’s success is due to its committed staff, some whom have worked with the PRAB for over 20 years. When the Daycare Site Director Shari Boyington was recently tapped to head up a much larger program within the PRAB system—right at the beginning of the school year—new Site Director Patricia Hernandez had an impotant resource for easing the transition, i.e., two stalwart PRAB members who have been integral to the daycare program since its creation, Ms. Gloria Nuñez and Ms. Carmen Ortiz-Adorno.
Ms. Gloria Nuñez has been a part of the Puerto Rican Action Board’s staff for 28 years. She began working with the Puerto Rican Action Board as a volunteer while attending high school. She recalls working as a teacher’s aid and three years later she became a teacher. All of her teaching experience has come from working with the Puerto Rican Action Board. She came to the United States from Puerto Rico so she can relate to obstacles that non-English speakers face when attempting to learn the English language for the first time.
Ms. Carmen Ortiz-Adorno has been a part of the Puerto Rican Action Board for 26 ½ years. Like Ms. Nuñez she began working in the Puerto Rican Action Board as a teacher’s assistant and later became a teacher. She has stated that when she began working with the Puerto Rican Action Board she had great mentors that opened her interest inworking with children. Ms. Ortiz-Adorno reflected on the fact that when the Puerto Rican Action Board first opened its doors the student population was mostly Latino but as the New Brunswick community has became aware of the daycare center and it’s commitment to assisting anyone with need, the daycare population has become as diverse as the city’s population.
Both Ms. Gloria Nuñez and Ms. Carmen Ortiz- Adorno have seen the changes that the daycare has undergone. They recall when the Puerto Rican Action Board was housed in one building but now it has three different locations. One pre-school is located on Drift Street, another on Townsend Street and the daycare is on Somerset Street. The committed vision of the Puerto Rican Action Board brings hope to the New Brunswick community and with its committed staff devoted to educating the future leaders of the New Brunswick community the future is full of possibilities.
For more information on the Puerto Rican Action Board visit:
Pingry Students’ Service-Learning Activity Promotes Family Literacy in New Jersey and Around the WorldOctober 29, 2010 on 9:54 am | In Book Drives/Book Donation Events, Students Making a Difference, USA Program News, Volunteers in the News | No Comments
November 1st marks National Family Literacy Day. Celebrated across the U.S., the day focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1st, but many events are held throughout the month of November. Schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations participate through read-a-thons, celebrity appearances, book drives, and more.
As part of their annual Community Service Day, a group of some thirty Pingry School students joined GLP at our Hillside warehouse the Friday before Family Literacy Day and helped to sort and pack several thousand books for distribution to our local and international programs.
It is with the help of volunteers such as these students that we continue to make a difference in the lives of those in need of access to literacy materials around the world. This group was all the more special as several members traveled with GLP to South Africa this past summer. Since their return they have galvanized their friends with the stories of how valuable their contribution as global citizens can be.