Christmas in Nevis - Family Literacy for the Holiday Season!
Christmas came early in Nevis this year!
The Nevis Public Library in collaboration with Hands Across the Sea presented a first-of-its-kind holiday pajama night and parents’ workshop on Monday December 17th. Thirty-one (31) children ages 3-7 were accompanied by 15 adults to experience the love and joy found in the library.
The festive event utilized both floors of the library. The eager children entered the library in their pajamas ready for an evening of adventure and fun. The young students, already familiar with the books from their school’s Hands Across the Sea Early Pages Programme, were excited to spend time with new and familiar friends from the community.
During their sessions, kids were taken on a special literacy journey, delighted and engaged by stories, rhymes, jingles, and even a puppet show!
Mr. Craig David, a parent to a participating student, graced us with his performance artistry behind the curtain, while librarian Ms. Neurisa Isles helped to narrate the tale.
Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resources (and former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education) joined as a very special guest, and led the children through a read aloud of the classic story The Little Engine That Could. Six of Nevis’ 11 preschools were represented through this event.
Upstairs, Hands Across the Sea Literacy Link Mrs. Palsy Wilkin led a session for 15 parents (and a few babies, too!)– many of whom also came to elevate the event in their cutest holiday pajamas. The session was a perfect opportunity to share and carry out the work of the Early Pages Programme which is currently active throughout Saint Kitts and Nevis.
During the adult session, the parents were given support toward making the connections between books and daily life, linking book concepts with necessary skills development, building healthy foundations for reading hygiene, and reinforcing the importance of parental involvement for the lasting impacts of children’s literacy.
Some key points driven home during the session included:
- Roles and responsibilities for parents in their children’s literacy journey
- The importance of books and the different types of books children read
- Demonstrations of reading aloud to students using Big Books as well as small books
- The importance and impact of reading to children beginning at a very early age.
The parents received an orientation on 10 Tips for Reading Aloud with Children and were sent home with a worksheet to continue supporting this effort. At the end of the session, all parents signed the Hands Across the Sea Parent Agreement Form (included in the Early Pages Programme Manual) and also signed up to be members of the public library.
The parents were very receptive to the highly interactive session, and appreciation was expressed by all who had the opportunity to attend.
“As a result of this session I am highly motivated to go into the preschools in January to continue working with the teachers and parents. “ – Mrs. Palsy Wilkin, Hands Across the Sea Literacy Link
The session is a high note for Hands Across the Sea, literacy, and Nevis as we all take some time to reconnect with our families and recharge during the holiday season. We thank Nevis Public Library Head Librarian Mrs. Anastasia Parris-Morton, and Deputy Librarian Mrs. Shea Wilkin (former VOJN principal and longtime Hands partner) for the invitation to participate in this special evening, and we commend the parents for taking the opportunity to learn, engage, and connect through children’s literacy.