June 11, 2010
PM Gonsalves’ wife launches non-profit organisation

Star Apple Foundation, a non-profit organisation set-up to help children to learn to read, was officially launched on Friday, June 4, 2010, at the Walden Ryan Learning Resource Centre at Colonaire.{{more}}

Eloise Gonsalves, wife of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Founder of the Organisation, said about two decades ago she and her husband felt the need to have a safe haven where children can go and read. She noted that it is challenging in this technological age to inspire children to read. However, she believes there is room for both. She pointed out that children need to be encouraged and reminded of how exciting reading can be. Gonsalves noted that reading for fun is an achievement goal and children need to return to reading.

Gonsalves noted that through this programme the children will be reading books that have positive messages that will inspire them to achieve. She noted that Star Apple Foundation will be working along with Parents and the Ministry of Education, noting that without their involvement such a programme will be futile.

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Area Representative of North Central Windward, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, showing solidarity to the Star Apple Foundation, said it’s an excellent idea, noting that there is also an interesting reading programme taking place in the schools. He said children are more focused on watching television and listening to the radio than developing the habit of reading, but noted that where there is a culture of reading there is a better understanding of things. He noted that children can bring local knowledge into things they read from books and he extended congratulations to the Star Apple Foundation for initiating such a programme.

At the Learning Resource Centre the library has been reorganized to host a series of reading sessions and to teach children how to navigate the library and how to respect books. A book loan programme will be in place, along with a programme to expand the library. The programme will be extended throughout the country.