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Dec 10, 2012

Pat the Cat; 10,000 copies and lesson plans delivered

Pat the Cat, written in English and Spanish by children of Belize and Milwaukee, will be used as part of school curriculums. The book, which is a beautifully illustrated story of the journey of a jaguar, has the support of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports as a supplementary reader in all primary schools. While the book was released last year, it was introduced as a teaching tool for distribution to schools today. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Pat the Great Cat was launched in October 2011, but thousands, about ten thousand copies are coming to schools in Belize. The first batch was released today and the occasion was marked with the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thummalapally.

 

Vinai Thummalapally

H.E. Vinai Thummalapally, U.S. Ambassador

“Those of you who are familiar with the book know it’s a true story as beautifully described by Nancy. The book talks about the natural history of the Americans, the Mayas, geography and science and it challenges kids to know more about the importance of the jaguar to our ecosystems and how the children could help ensure a safe and healthy future for jaguars in the wild. This is an important lesson for children and adults both in Belize and the United States. So perhaps we should thank a Belizean jaguar now located in Wisconsin for bringing us today in Belize City.”

 

Barbara Thummalapally

Barbara Thummalapally, Literacy Project Belize Coordinator

“We’re here to celebrate friends, collaborations, companies who have given generously for the printing of the ten thousand books that we are bringing into Belize. In fact it is happening right now. The last three days, I’ve been running to the airport to pick up boxes of books with different people helping us load and unload. And it is exactly a hundred and eighteen boxes that have been coming in each day on Delta Airlines from Milwaukee to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to here. Hand in hand with those achievements, we are also so glad to take this opportunity to share with you the importance of knowing how to use these books effectively. And that is very critical in why we started this Pat the Cat Literacy project in Belize.”

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

Patrick Faber

“It really is exemplary and while you will see and know that there are other partners who have joined with her to make this possible, none of it would not have been possible if she did not put it all together and she did not brainstorm all of this. So let’s put it together for Barbara Thummalapally. In our ministry, quite often we get people who come to us with ideas and of course everybody believes that their ideas for education are good. And quite often some of these ideas that are brought to us are not in line with what it is that we want to see in the ministry of education. It may be good for education in general, but it is not in line with the things that we are trying to achieve. But ladies and gentlemen, this project—the Pat the Cat Literacy Project—falls tremendously in line with what it is that we are trying to achieve in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.”

 

Pat the cat comes with lesson plans developed for the standard four classroom.

 

Barbara Thummalapally

“We wanted to also help with formulating teacher training lesson plans which is important for teachers to have with games and songs and having the space where you can make sense of what was going on and also to help teachers in their classrooms. And so that’s what we’ve done. We’ve provided lesson plans online; we have a wiki site and we are sharing it with all the teachers as we do our workshops so that when they have the book, they can also go to chapter one and figure out what they want to do with chapter one or chapter five. And there is a great game to play some games that is related to exactly what Pat is doing. One of our Peace Corps volunteers talked about a lesson parasites, because Pat goes down to the water to drink and he gets parasites. A lot of kids may not know what the parasites are, but it is a big problem not only in Belize but all over the world where children are not able to learn because the parasites they get just from drinking water.  So this is a wonderful, practical way of bringing the book to life for her and now we’ll be able to share it with lots of teachers who will be able to do the same.”

 

Some of the involved sponsors got in on the demonstration with the B.E.S. students. Thirty books will be donated to each primary school. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

 

The Harley Davidson Foundation, Delta Airlines, the Rotary and Pricewaterhouse Coopers are the main sponsors of Pat the Cat and were also present at today’s event. 

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1 Response for “Pat the Cat; 10,000 copies and lesson plans delivered”

  1. Seletar says:

    I’d like to know if this book will be available generally in book stores. I can think of a few new readers I’d like to give it to.

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