St. Mary’s RC School
234 students • Pre-School to Grade 6
Martha Bowen, Principal
Mrs. Rhonda Farray-Herryn, Acting Principal
Mrs. Bernadette Shockness, Literacy Coordinator
Yes, We Love Our Library! St. Mary’s RC Primary School, a medium-size rural school in the mountainous middle of Grenada, has 251 students. And thanks to a focus on books, reading, and the school library by the school’s Principal, librarian, teachers, and the Hands Literacy Link for the school, Bernadette John, nearly all of the students love the library. That, folks, is one way that Hands measures success. The library is fully functional, staffed with a committed and dedicated librarian. An updated library schedule ensures that all classes from Pre-School to Grade 6 visit the library; borrowing records are kept. The school has a wide range of literacy programs and activities, including a remedial reading class, which currently has ten boys from Grades 4 and 5. This class is conducted in the library space because the staff believes that the atmosphere will create a greater love for books among those students.
Hands Literacy Link Bernadette John, who works hands-on with school staff, says it best. “As the Literacy Link for St. Mary’s RC Primary, I have witnessed the students’ love for the library. They love visiting the library, not only to check out and check in books, but also to enjoy library activities facilitated either by the librarian or a class teacher. Currently, there are six Student Librarians; they perform their daily tasks with pride and confidence.
“The school boasts of many literacy activities, all of which complement the functions of the library. For example, Reading Carnival, Poetry and Reading competitions among grades, Departmental Banner competition, House Quizzes, Language Buzz, Book reports, and Career Days. Parents are on board with the school’s literacy plans too. At Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings, parents are always reminded to encourage their children to borrow at least one book per week. There was also an Open Day for parents to visit the school—and a visit to the library was mandatory. At the community level, students from St. Mary’s R.C. School read the scripture passages during both school and Sunday Masses.”