Eight new peace corps volunteers sworn in
September 1, 2015
Eight new peace corps volunteers sworn in

Several primary schools throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines will soon benefit from the expertise of a new batch of eight Peace Corps volunteers who were recently inducted into service, following two months of training.

The ceremony took place last Thursday, August 27, at Frenches House, and saw the EC87 volunteer group sworn in by Sara Lightner, Peace Corps country director (acting) for the Eastern Caribbean.{{more}}

Lightner said that EC87 will be stationed at eight primary schools to focus on the Peace Corps’ Primary Literacy Project.

“The ultimate purpose of what we are really here and hoping to do is to strengthen the foundation, or these building blocks of literacy for the young students of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” she explained.

The project aims to increase student success in the area of Primary English literacy; partner with teachers in primary classrooms to provide “effective teaching” in the area of Primary English literacy; and strengthen the relationship between schools and the communities.

Lightner also congratulated the new volunteers on having made it thus far, encouraged them to keep on persevering despite any challenges they may encounter and to use their talents and past experiences to work effectively within the classrooms.

“You did your best, you worked your hardest… you made us all proud even when faced with challenging situations… you quickly moved into the next phase of that always-moving Peace Corps duty.”

She added: “The adventure has just begun… we look forward to hearing more about the great things to come during your next two years of service… you represent the very best that the United States has to offer.”

The featured speaker at the event was Hannah Browne, education officer for School Inspection, who also congratulated and welcomed the new cohort of volunteers.

Browne stated that the induction of this new batch of volunteers further strengthens the collaboration between the Peace Corps, the Ministry of Education, teachers, other stakeholders, and the respective communities from which the volunteers will operate.

“We anticipate that there will be an exchange, and an implementation of research-based best practices and new strategies,” she explained.

Also giving brief welcome remarks was Cuthbert James, Peace Corps associate director (SVG office).

The EC87 group of volunteers comprises Christopher Cannito, who will be working at the South Rivers Methodist School; Heather Higgins, Spring Village Methodist School; Joe Huang, Sandy Bay Government School; Kaitlin Bennett, Diamond Government School; Marcia Pierce, Rose Hall Government School; Robert McGarry, Owia Government School; Rosie Beshk, Leeward District SDA School; and Shelby Miller, Stubbs Government School.

The EC87 are among 32 new volunteers who have been sworn in and assigned to schools in various islands within the Eastern Caribbean.

The Peace Corps organization has been serving the region continuously since 1961, with more than 3,800 volunteers having served from then until now. (JSV)