Plant a Seed to Read
My name is Heidi. I currently reside on the island of St Kitts in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. While living here I met a woman who worked with me to publish the Living the Beach Life Series. My main goal of the series was to bring contextualized reading to young children on St Kitts and Nevis. This is also the goal of CaribbeanReads Publishing, my publisher and so, together, we are working to bring more books with Caribbean content to Caribbean children.
We can all agree that reading is one of the cornerstones of a child’s development. What is not so widely recognised is the importance of localised content. Children need to see themselves reflected in at least some of the books that they read. As put so eloquently by Rudine Sims Bishop of the Ohio State University, “Books serve as a window to another world, but also as a mirror, an example of how the reader should interact in the world. When children cannot find themselves and their culture reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted or negative, they learn an unfortunate lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part."
My stories and others published by CaribbeanReads are written about characters and places the children of the Federation know and relate to. We have reached many children already through readings at libraries and in schools. The children's excitement and curiosity were astounding yet heartbreaking since they love, but often cannot afford, the books. If we could, we would put a book into every child's hand, but we cannot. Not on our own. We need your help to bring these books into each and every school in the Federation.
Note that our plan is not just to deliver books to the schools and walk away. We are working with the Curriculum Development Unit and we will also provide lesson plans and curriculum to go with the books to ensure that the full benefit is derived from this contribution.
The books are already published. We already have most of our lesson plans completed. Now we need your help to finish the process. Our goal is to distribute 1000 copies of eleven of our books to all the schools in St Kitts and Nevis inclusive of lesson plans and reading guides. We can do this for US$35,000 per year.
Some of our books:
Chee Chee in Paradise
Lion Paw and Oliver, An Unlikely Friendship
Remember When - Wilbur the Beach Pig
Oliver and Friends
Adventure at Brimstone Hill
Fury on Soufriere Hills
Heidi, you need to hook up with Hands Across the Sea. I have the info for the co-founder/director. They, too are working to improve the reading inventory for schools across the Caribbean, and specifically in St. Kitts and Nevis. No reason why your books couldn't be part of what they're doing (and they, too, are tied in with the Education Ministry, etc.)