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.
Milena in her own words…
“About a year ago I decided that for a community service project, I wanted to make a difference for an orphanage in Southern India. Our family friends, Lynn and her husband Evelyn, support orphanage in a village in southern india and suggested that I work on creating a library there. My mother’s other friends the Vanechs had told us about Global Literacy Project, an organisation there daughter Christina had had a good experience with service oriented work in Africa. We got in touch with them and they helped us plan out what we would do with the library. I began emailing tons of people and I started a book drive and received around 42,000 books by the end. The books were all sent to India and I visited the orphanage in early June of 2008. I read to the kids and i danced and played many games with them. They were amazing and so thrilled to be learning how to read the donated books. This year I have been working on a short documentary of my visit that I recently finished. The documentary shows tons of pictures from my trip there with all of the kids. It was a wonderful trip and I cannot wait to return this summer to work with the kids again.”
Visit with Milena at the Lady Lynn Joyful Home in this video -> milena_at_lady_lynn_orphanage
See more about Milena’s efforts in SPAN, the magazine of the American Embassy, New Delhi. http://span.state.gov/wwwhspseptoct0810.html
Also, local coverage in the Indian news… http://www.hindu.com/2008/06/16/stories/2008061659881100.htm