On the morning of Friday, July 22nd, a group of 74 primary school students walked across the porch of the South Eleuthera Mission (SEM) building to accept certificates as proof that they had spent the previous month working hard to improve their reading and math skills. Coming from each of the five (5) primary schools located in the South Eleuthera area, they had taken part and completed the Summer Literacy and Numeracy Intervention Program hosted by the One Eleuthera Foundation as part of our Partners in Education initiative. In attendance was the director of the South Eleuthera Mission, Errol McPhee, who gave a small charge to the young graduates to take what they learned with them through the rest of their lives and encouraged the teachers to continue in their much needed good work with our children.

The purpose of this program, as described by SEM’s Assistant Program Coordinator, Ade Pinder, is to discourage the widespread illiteracy that can be witnessed throughout schools across the island and in turn, encourage our children to read as well as improve their skills with numbers. “Encourage Reading,” is, in fact, the implied theme of the Literacy and Numeracy Intervention Program as it strives to promote an interest and love of reading in our youth from the primary school level and onwards. She demonstrates a passion for motivating children to read up to and beyond their grade level. At the start of the program, each student was issued a pretest to gauge their reading and math levels. At the end of the program, a post-test was administered to determine the level of growth and improvement the students gained during the program.

Keeping the end goal in mind while working; Ms. Pinder reflects that putting this program together with the teachers and organizing everything was a rewarding process. She highlights the willingness of the ten (10) teachers that took part in the program, taking an entire month out of their summer vacations to work on and with the students for the duration of the program, as another source of motivation for her. This group of dedicated and hardworking teachers was composed of two (2) teachers from each of the five primary schools in South Eleuthera; that is, Tarpum Bay, Rock Sound, Wemyss Bight, Green Castle, and Deep Creek Primary Schools.

The Literacy and Numeracy Program tackles the rampant problem of illiteracy in our schools head on, so Mrs. Pinder encourages us to spread the word and encourage our children to read from an early age. OEF offers after school reading programs that they can take part in and we welcome parents and others to volunteer with our efforts to combat this serious issue together.

To find out more or donate to the South Eleuthera Mission or OEF’s Partners in Education Initatives go to: www.oneeleuthera.org/donate

Written By: Derrinique Elliott 

Edited By: Embri Stuart