Literacy Training: Overcoming Obstacles, Together

Nestled in the heart of Byera, St. Vincent, the Pamelus Burke Government School serves as a symbol of education and hope for the local community. Welcoming students from kindergarten through the sixth grade, the school strives to provide holistic development opportunities for every child. However, amidst its noble mission, a stark challenge persists – a significant number of students are reading below their expected grade levels. In response to this predicament, Principal Jasmine Spencer is actively working to reshape the school’s literacy landscape.

Principal Spencer and her dedicated team have devised a multifaceted strategy to address the disconcerting literacy gap amongst their students. These efforts include offering remedial support to struggling students, conducting intensive summer classes, and harnessing the potential of the school library to boost the reading abilities of students. The library, they believe, holds the key to addressing the literacy challenges.

While the school’s resilience is commendable, there is a pressing need for more resources to make a lasting and substantial change. The school operates as just one piece of a larger puzzle within the nation. It is not the sole institution facing this literacy struggle; it is a pervasive issue.

Hands Across the Sea, a consistent partner, has played an invaluable role in supporting the school’s pursuit of enhanced literacy. Through their generous book donations, they have enriched the library’s resources, providing students with more material to explore. Beyond books, Mrs. Enna Bullock, the school’s tireless Literacy Link, has continuously extended support. Her efforts encompass maintaining the library’s physical space, organizing shelves, and keeping records. Mrs. Bullock’s expertise has been instrumental in securing essential resources for the library and promoting a culture of literacy that benefits both students and educators.

To harness the library’s full potential, a literacy training session was conducted last year. Led by Mrs. Enna Bullock and Mrs. Yvette Pompey, the session addressed “Using the Library to Enhance Literacy.” This session provided teachers with invaluable insights, illuminating the library’s role as a conducive space for teaching and learning.

“We are now better prepared to maximize the use of our library. Getting students meaningfully engaged is important to me, and I have noted several ideas from the training that can be used in my library time”

In addition to these efforts, the school launched a library enhancement project during the summer break. This undertaking involved painting the library with vibrant colors and reorganizing its shelves. Further improvements, such as light curtains and cozy reading corners, are in progress. The school also plans to maintain its remedial program, extending a helping hand to struggling readers and writers on their arduous journey towards literacy.

The path to change is not without its obstacles. As a single entity in a larger nation grappling with literacy issues, Pamelus Burke Government School, while resilient, requires greater support and resources to make a more profound and enduring impact. The collaborative efforts of organizations like Hands Across the Sea, as well as the dedication of Principal Spencer and her team, are critical steps in the journey towards comprehensive literacy transformation.

There is no quick fix or magical solution. The remedy is found in the diligent efforts of educators such as Principal Spencer, Mrs. Bullock, Mrs. Pompey, and Mrs. Huggins, working in collaboration with Hands Across the Sea. This partnership equips them with the knowledge, resources, and support necessary to address this issue, one classroom at a time.

With your support, we can provide the resources, books, and training necessary to help students in the Eastern Caribbean on their path to success. Your donation during our Fall Appeal will make a meaningful difference in the lives of young learners, and it’s a chance for you to be a part of their inspiring journey toward a brighter future. 

Join us in transforming lives, one classroom at a time.

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