September 8 is International Literacy Day, but it was being observed on Friday. Across the City and in Dangriga and Belmopan there were activities at local schools involving storytelling and creative writing, many with patriotic themes. But things were a little different at Wesley Lower School where PLUS News stopped in to observe well-known personalities take some time to read to the students. Alma Paredes of the Ministry of Education’s Literacy Unit explains why reading is fundamental.
Alma Paredes _ Ministry of Education’s Literacy Unit:
On Friday we are observing International Literacy day. In Belize, however, it is observed on September 8th. The schools in Belize City are having several activities. The purpose of that is we want is that we want to highlight and showcase that literacy is very important. Our children are not ablt to read and write. It is sad because it will keep them back from many things, such as getting a good education. It will lead to poverty. It leads to problems getting a good job. Also it takes away many opportunities that are out there, that are open. Literacy is extremely important.
Wesley Lower School teacher Rudolph Neal who coordinated today’s event at the school told us they are doing their part to improve student literacy.
Rudolph Neal – Standard 3 Teacher:
Certainly Literacy is an important part of our curriculum at Wesley Lower School. We try various different activities. We incorporate our society, parents, and teachers, to try and move students towards being more literary. For example, the activity we’re doing today is a bold move. Children are excited. They’re motivated to have some of their favourite people to meet them. It will also help them to understand that in order for them to progress, it is important, it is imperative for them to read. They will get to see at first hand, not only they need to read, but even the people who they look up to in society, how it helped to shape their lives.
Personalities who took part include Channel 7 News’ Monica Bodden, KREM Radio and Television’s Mose Hyde and Yaya Marin Coleman, David Craig of Bowen and Bowen and aspiring singer Shanelly Sutherland. The theme for the event was “Promoting Literacy for a Peaceful Belize.”
Meanwhile, the festivities continued in the Capital City, where students participated in a rally at the Independence Park, after which a parade was held throughout the city. And playing a key role in the initiative, parent reads studies to the children following the parade. Rural school also took part in literacy activities.