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Jan 26, 2012

UNESCO and Belize Literacy unit donate books to 26 schools

Is reading on the decline? Well, the Literacy Unit of the Ministry of Education and UNESCO are teaming up to encourage school children to pick up a book. Hundreds of books were handed over today to twenty-six schools from the Belize and Stann Creek Districts. News Five’s Delahnie Bain was on hand.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

In an effort to keep reading alive in schools, the Literacy Unit of the Ministry of Education and UNESCO today handed over hundreds of books to primary twenty-six schools. The Unit’s coordinator, Rose Bradley, says it is a part of an initiative to put libraries in each school.

Rose Bradley, Coordinator, Belize Literacy Unit

Rose Bradley

“One of the things we’ve been saying to teachers is to promote literacy in the classroom, to read to the children every day, to develop the habit of reading; to cultivate and nurture that in our students. However, the reality is that many of our schools do not have that resource. They don’t have books. And so one of the things we have been doing through the programs is to provide classrooms with libraries. Scholastic has been one of our donors and now we have UNESCO so I want to say a big thank you to UNESCO for this donation of books. Twenty-six schools will be benefiting; schools in Belize District and schools in Dangriga.”

David Brown

The proposal to fund the literacy campaign was selected by UNESCO’s education committee.

Dr. David Brown, Secretary General, UNESCO Commission

“Every two years UNESCO asks for proposals for projects and those proposals are submitted to the UNESCO Commission. I am the secretary General so I collect all these and then we select ten of those for Belize and these ten are sent over to UNESCO headquarters in France and it is there that they also select how many of them qualify. In this case, this is one of seven projects which were awarded the funding.”

One of the schools that received the donation books was St. Joseph Primary in Belize City.

Glorycela Torres

Principal, Glorycela Torres says it will complement the reading program already in place at the school.

Glorycela Torres, Principal, St. Joseph School

“We encourage our children to read, read, read. We have a program here at our school; everyday when the bell rings at one the children drop everything and read in that session. They drop everything and read.  We know that we are facing a world where our children are no longer reading as before when I was growing up and we need to challenge our children of today that books can take you all over the world. If you read a book, you can be from here to Japan in a second. You can be from here to Australia. It helps as well in the classroom, like what Miss Carol mentioned, that if the children continue reading, that will enhance learning in the classroom.”

Carol Babb

Carol Babb, Deputy Chief Education Officer

“We have a literacy Unit, a literacy Unit that is committed to ensure that our students develop the habit of reading and the desire to read and learn more. We have a literacy unit that is working with principals to ensure that principals are doing the supervision and monitoring to ensure that our students are learning to read and write.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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