Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 11, 2015. The Advancement of Children Foundation, a non-profit organization based in St. Kitts and Nevis, and the ‘Plant a Seed to Read’ programme have a mission in common, to positively affect the lives of children and youth in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. With that in mind, the Foundation yesterday donated $7,913.41 to a pilot version of CaribbeanReads’ Plant a Seed to Read Initiative to be launched at the Beach Allen Primary School.
The cheque was presented by ACF Board Chair and Projects Committee Chair Naaemah Hazelle to Heidi Fagerberg, CaribbeanReads’ representative. Also in attendance were Andrew Cleary, Vice Chair and Marketing and Fundraising Committee Chair; Board Secretary, Leah Crag Chaderton; and Natasha St. Juste, Projects Committee Chair.
The Plant a Seed to Read programme is aimed at instilling a love of reading in young children by providing them with books that are relevant and engaging. They will achieve this by first providing the children with their own copy of a book that is set in the Caribbean and secondly by providing teachers with curriculum support so that they can easily integrate the books into the classroom setting. The project is spearheaded by CaribbeanReads founder Carol Mitchell and author Heidi Fagerberg, a St. Kitts resident who holds degrees in Early Childhood Development, Education, and Human Services.
“Illiteracy and crime are closely related,” commented Heidi Fagerberg author of the Living the Beach Life Series. “By encouraging children to read we can guide them towards being better students and eventually more productive adults with better earning capacity and more options in life. Reading also helps children to develop language and communication skills and can be a fun alternative to more negative activities.”
“We are very grateful for ACF for seeing the possibilities in this project. This is just the beginning as we have plans to have local books integrated into the curriculum of every primary school in the Federation and to supply books each year. Beach Allen is one of our largest primary schools and so it is a good starting point. We are actively seeking funding to move the project into additional schools,” commented Carol Mitchell.
The project organisers continue to seek funding to place books in additional schools at about US$2,000 per school per year through groups like the ACF and with a GoFundMe page.