Sunday, April 27, 2014

Western Union's Reading Week in Montego Bay

Mrs. Tanya Fraser-Martin with a Gr 5 class
    Since 2010, I have taken opportunities to read from 'Delroy in the Marog Kingdom' at selected schools during Western Union's Reading Week. Because St. James had been the featured parish in 2013, no school had been chosen for 2014. However, they were happy that I volunteered to read, and that I chose Chetwood Memorial Primary as the venue. On Tuesday, April 8, in the afternoon,  I was joined by Mrs. Tanya Fraser Martin of Western Union's Montego Bay office. She is the Business Network Manager responsible for WU agents in Trelawny, St James and Hanover in Jamaica.  
    Between us we were able to read to four classes.
    I read excerpts from 'Delroy in the Marog Kingdom' to two grade 5 classes, one after the other. As usual, I got an enthusiastic response to my presentation which began with putting the frog in the pot.
   Meanwhile, Mrs. Martin read 'Slater Minnifie and the Beat Boy Machine' from "Flying with Icarus" by Curdella Forbes to another grade 5 class. The story is about a new boy in the class and a gang of bullies. Of the experience, Mrs. Martin said "They really loved the story and responded well to my questions. They listened intently, showed keen interest and I thought the story was ideal and relevant to their every day lives. The Teacher had a good command of the class. I enjoyed reading to them." Then she went to a grade 6 class to read from Diane Browne's "Island Princess in Brooklyn", the chapter about Jamaican's getting together to watch our athletes on TV.  

We also spoke to each class about the importance of reading stories for pleasure:
  1. Reading improves vocabulary, grammar and comprehension.
  2. Children who read 5 or 6 books in the summer holidays perform better in the following year than those who don't.
  3. Reading stimulates brain development.
  4. Reading improves performance in math... yes, math!

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