St Mary’s RC School holds hats off to reading (+video)
Students and teachers of the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School march through the streets of Kingstown at the beginning of their Literacy Week (INSET) Keython Gaymes
March 7, 2023

St Mary’s RC School holds hats off to reading (+video)

St Mary’s Roman Catholic School kickstarted Literacy Week with the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Band as students tipped their hats off to reading.

As they marched they raised the cheer: Early morning when we just wake up, take a book and read it up.

Literacy Week, an initiative of the Ministry of Education which aims to improve reading levels in primary schools, saw students across the nation expressing their love for reading. It is usually held during the months of January and February. The schools week-long literacy activities were introduced around 2007 to encourage a love for reading, with particular focus on the celebration of the reading progress of struggling readers.

The literacy committee of St Mary’s RC school has been hosting a number of activities to celebrate Literacy Week under the theme ‘Reading with tradition and change – from whence we came to the 21st century.’

Member of the committee, Raphilia Adams told SEARCHLIGHT that the week of activities was designed to raise awareness about the importance of reading and to inspire the students and families to make reading part of their daily lives.

On Monday, February 27, the students donned colourful paper hats which they themselves designed to promote the importance of reading.

“The students were asked to make a hat tailored around our literacy week, or they could have chosen their favourite story book from whence we came…and depict it on their hats,” Adams said.

The march began at the school at 10:00 a.m led by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Band, went around the Victoria Park and back to the school.

Adams said the students enjoy activities like these and the ‘hats off march’ is usually a crowd pleaser at the school.

“They enjoy literacy week especially the part when they have hats off to reading when they get to march with the police band and sing; they enjoy that.

“They are the ones who actually help us put together the week and give us some of the ideas also, not only the teachers were involved…”.

Activities continued on Wednesday, March 1, when the school hosted a public speaking competition for students of grade 5 and grade 6 under the topic: Is the Traditional Approach to Reading Better than the Methods Used Today?

On, March 2, some students participated in a read-aloud in pre-schools in close proximity to the St Mary’s RC School.

These were: the Kingstown Methodist pre-School; the Rainbow Unique Nursery and Pre-School; the Kingstown Day Nursery and Pre-School; as well as the School For Children With Special Needs.
On the same day there was also a ‘teacher swap’ where teachers taught in a different grade for the day and read stories to the children.

In addition, grade 6 student, Keython Gaymes was hosted on Hot97.1 to read a news item live on air.

“I feel excited knowing that basically almost the whole country would hear me speak and it might build my self esteem a lot…”, Gaymes told SEARCHLIGHT.

The week of activities culminates today, March 3, which has been designated ‘African Wear Day’.

Students were required to select an African country and dress to match that country’s national/cultural wear. They will also be sharing information from research done on the way the people in the country selected learned to read at an earlier time and what obtains currently.

The school’s literacy committee has extended gratitude to all parents and guardians for partnering with them to make the activities a great experience for the children.