Thursday 22 October, 2020

43 new children's books by Caribbean authors to be used in school

Photo via OECS

Photo via OECS

Soon the days of Lucky Dip and The Kite as early grade readers in Caribbean nursery and primary schools may be a thing of the past.

Young readers in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will now have access to a wide range of developmental and culturally relevant books. 

The OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme (ELP) has developed the Write to Read programme to create locally authored reading resources.  

The programme began as an OECS/USAID ELP competition in 2019 to provide the unique opportunity for local authors of all ages to create children’s literature for early grade readers.  

In December 2019, authors from four OECS Member States: Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada received first to third place prizes in Children’s, Teachers and Other Adults categories.  

The Programme is currently publishing 43 entrants’ books in print and electronic book formats for distribution and use in OECS Member State schools in the coming school year. 

The OECS/USAID ELP said it recognises the tremendous shortage of culturally relevant books in schools across the OECS.  

Building on the work of organisations such as Hands Across the Sea, the ELP will provide schools with culturally relevant student books and teaching materials.  

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These types of books engage young learners and contribute to the enhancement of local culture and traditions.  

Research in education continues to underscore how access to engaging and culturally relevant reading resources is a significant factor in sustaining students’ motivation and interest in reading. 

Reading Specialist at the OECS/USAID ELP, Lisa Sargusingh-Terrence stated: 

“The ELP could think of no better source for children’s books than the children, parents, teachers and other members of the Caribbean community. Therefore, we invited K – 3 students, teachers, and community members to create or co-create culturally relevant children’s books for use in the classroom. 

"With 20 students participating, the ‘Write to Read’ initiative has helped students learn writing strategies that authors employ such as idea generation, drafting, sharing, and critiquing with peers, revising and editing.

"The printing and distribution of almost 51,000 locally/regionally authored books is a significant undertaking. These books contribute to a regional library of reading material that will support the development of a culture of reading in OECS classrooms and homes.” 

Since its inception, the OECS/USAID ELP has supported the development of excellent pedagogy and instruction for early grade readers with an effort to ensure increased access to engaging and culturally relevant reading resources.  

In addition to the upcoming publication and printing of Write to Read texts, the ELP purchased and delivered over 12,700 culturally relevant texts to classrooms across the OECS Member States in March 2019. 

Photo via OECS

The OECS/USAID has shared the list of Write to Read authors and their books. 


Because I Sound Different by Karina Daniel and Jill Patterson 

Kité Nou Konté Let Us Count by Marguerite-Joan Joseph 

Poetry: La Diablesse, The Ligaroo and the Baccoo by Students of Grand Roy Government School 

Play: The Baccoo by Students of Grand Roy Government School 

Coconut Water by Kervyn Gangadeen 

The Man in the Forest by Shandy Langaigne 

Saint Lucia 

Tim’s Terrible Fall by Jordan Bisha 

Peanut and the Monster Under the Bed by A.L. Dawn French  

A Day Spent at the Lake with the Notorious Trouble Makers John and Jerry by Tizyana Mclelland  

Mummy’s Busy Week by Sabrina Pevrille 

Music the Key to Life by Pearl Tench 

Papa Days by Cecilie Belmar Desir 

Pat’s Walk by Sabrina Pevrille 

Poetic Expressions by Teacher and Students of St Aloysius RC Boys School 

Prismeer by Matej Tobias  

Poems by Sharlen Pologne Edgar  

Surprise! Surprise! by Elizabeth John 

The Adventures of Possum by Ryn-Kyj King and Wynnykyj King 

The District One Road Race by Trezure Charley 

The Miserable Twins by Désirée S. Francois 

The Soursop Song by Cornelia Ann Shirley Lubin 

Up Up and Away by Haelee Stevens  

The Princess Garden - Author unknown 

A World of Word Families - Author not provided 

Hello Frog - Author not provided 

Naughty Henna - Author not provided 

St Kitts and Nevis 

Getting on the Menu by Kimoy P. Sweeney Illustrated by Kishmoy Underwood 

Peacock and the Computer by Tebron Flemming and Dr. Sandra Flemming  

St Vincent & the Grenadines 

A Day With Tanty Eveleyn by Caeli Samuel  

Number Rhymes by Susan Scott John 

Master Marc Learns to Walk by Athalie Caine-Soleyn 

The Attack of the Chicken Hawk by Ayana Evans-Little 

The Symbols of St Vincent and the Grenadines by Damian Ballantyne 

Faces by Perkina Carrington and Gaylene Wickham  

The Pied Flutist by Koesha Burke 

St Vincent and Grenadines National Symbols by Khaleil McInnis  

A Woman I Know by Niesha John 

Why Cats Hate Rats by Sonelle Sonelia Pope  

Ariel’s Story by Ariel Mapp 

Bernard the Bully by Jillian A. Findlay-Bailey 

Caddy the Caterpillar by Jillian A. Findlay-Bailey 

Frens Again by Edmira Walker 

How I Became a Ducuna by Avelyn Gittens Theobalds 

Lizard in my House by Yohan and Phelia Haynes 



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