JIS News

Story Highlights

  • As part of a campaign to promote literacy at the Top Hill Primary School in St. Elizabeth, Reading Specialist, Dr. V. Elaine Carter, will be addressing parents of students attending the school, tomorrow (March 19), to get them more involved in the education of their children.
  • Dr. Carter, who is also an International Consultant in Education, will speak on the topic: 'The Role of Parents in the Partnership for Literacy'.

As part of a campaign to promote literacy at the Top Hill Primary School in St. Elizabeth, Reading Specialist, Dr. V. Elaine Carter, will be addressing parents of students attending the school, tomorrow (March 19), to get them more involved in the education of their children.
Dr. Carter, who is also an International Consultant in Education, will speak on the topic: ‘The Role of Parents in the Partnership for Literacy’. “The parents have great interest in their children succeeding,” said the Reading Specialist, who has been assigned by the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to work with developing countries.

Dr. Carter, herself a past student of Top Hill Primary, has developed a module for teaching reading in primary schools, which she shared last November at a conference entitled, ‘Information Communication and Technology Based Training in Basic Education for Social Development’. The conference, hosted by UNESCO, was held in Bangkok, Thailand under the theme: ‘Reading For All’. She pointed out that her module would first be used in a pilot project in the African countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Senegal, after which it would be integrated into UNESCO’s ‘Reading For All’ programme. It would be available on the world wide web. Dr. Carter told JIS News that despite the fact that there were a number of stakeholders involved in the spread of literacy, the parents had to take the lion’s share of the responsibility. “They are the first teachers,” she said.
She further noted that her presentation would encourage parents to foster early literacy habits in the home, encourage parents to become readers themselves, and highlight the importance of supervision. Her presentation would also touch on the appropriate materials for children at different stages of development.

“We must encourage the children, because we don’t want them to reach the remedial level. We want them to avoid frustrations in life,” Dr. Carter said. The Reading Specialist said she would be giving books to each parent to encourage the development of home libraries. The emphasis on reading at Top Hill Primary comes as part of a recent drive to improve literacy at that institution, and was initiated by a past student who is also completing her final year of studies at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.
Grace Lindo, in pursuing her final year thesis, recognized a literacy shortfall at her old school, and vigorously set about to change this.

Miss Lindo, with the help of other concerned citizens, undertook the refurbishing and expansion of the school’s library. She also received assistance from another past student, an Executive at the National Commercial Bank, who gave three computers to the school, along with other donations. On April 2, a Book Fair will be held to continue the focus on the importance of literacy. Co-ordinator of the Book Fair and teacher, Nona Lindo, told JIS News that it is hoped that these measures would help to sensitize parents to the importance of literacy and the crucial role they played in the process.