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Jun 14, 2012

Literacy Without Borders terrific work in Belize

Literacy Without Borders is a Canadian Based NGO that has been working in Belize for the last year. Twenty participants received training in methods used to facilitate literacy in a number of settings that can turn out to be easy and fun. News Five’s Andrea Polanco stopped in at the last day of workshop to get some tips on literacy.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Literacy without Borders says that literacy is everybody’s business. It is a fun and interactive process that starts from the home.


Randy Boissonnault, Executive Director, Literacy Without Borders

“Literacy is everybody’s business and the birthplace of literacy is in the home. So if you’re a single parent, or you have two parents, an aunt, an uncle or grandma and there is a little one in your life you should be reading to them and if you don’t have a book nearby go about talking with them and ask them questions. If you’re making dinner, ask them questions about what it is you are making and show them the words on the packaging; if you’re making a grocery list use that as a way to teach them how to write a grocery list. There are so many ways that we can integrate literacy teaching in things that we do every day.”


Randy Boissonnault

Boissonnault says that the programme involves a three-pronged approach.


Randy Boissonnault

“Two days ago we did a models training in a particular approach to literacy using computers so we can do for example in a Youth for the Future Offices or in a school setting or a community setting. Yesterday was the principles of family literacy; so what’s the difference between family literacy or adult literacy? Why do we approach literacy from a family perspective and then today is another model that call rhymes that bind; so imagine moms and dads and their little one in a circle sharing rhymes and stories as a way to bond with the little one, as a way to do oral language development and as a way for them to learn parenting skills from each other.”


Even if you aren’t a student, Literacy without Borders would like to help you:


Randy Boissonnault

“If we can help pre-schoolers get ready for school and get the students the literacy development they need, then by the time they are finished they can get the kinds of jobs that they want to get to lead the lives they want to have so that is why we are also trying to help the adults who might have fallen through the cracks and might be struggling with reading and just want to get to appoint where they want to lead their own lives.”


The program can be applied in any setting.


Randy Boissonnault

“We have a number of partnerships, for example, the Belize Sunrise Rotary Club, they are working with us and they want to do a Rhymes that Bind Program and the computer programme in the Port Loyola Library in Southside Belize City and we have some folks here from Cayo from Sacred Heart Junior College and they want to run a Rhymes that Bind Programme for their continuing English as a second language programme and they also want to run the computer model inside so we can do it in junior colleges; it can be in a school setting; a community center.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


Literacy without Borders says that they will be working with their partners to set up ten-week pilot programmes in the respective districts. Boissonnault says that if the response is positive the funding will continue for the programs. The non-profit organization is sponsored by the UNDP and works closely with the Ministry of Education.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Literacy Without Borders terrific work in Belize”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    Big up the Canadians for doing big things in the Jewel,God Bless.

  2. Julie Pasos says:

    How can I help? I’ve been teaching ESL Literacy for many years in Los Angeles, have family ties to Belize, speak French, Spanish and a little Kriol and Mandarin I want to get involved. Please contact me.

  3. Wendy Peverett says:

    As one of the Canadians invited to share the training, I want to say a BIG Thank You to all the sponsors who brought us to Belize – without your support this event would not have happened! And an even BIGGER thank you to all the participants in the training! The families and students you will be working with are in for a treat! Your compassion, understanding and enthusiasm will shine in the programs you offer. I look forward to coming back again and learning so much from all of you! And don’t forget about the Belizean Spider!

  4. Randy Boissonnault says:

    Please contact me at randy@literacywithoutborders or Kaitie Worobec at

    We can’t wait to see the success of the pilots in August and September!

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