Saturday 19 September, 2020

Uncollected donated books find new home at Variety Children's Charity

Books for the Barbados book fair hosted by Robinson Smiles and Hope Inc. now in its tenth year.

Books for the Barbados book fair hosted by Robinson Smiles and Hope Inc. now in its tenth year.

Julia Robinson has been able to turn a negative into a resounding positive for Barbados' youth and children with special needs.

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Saddened by the turnout to the Robinson Smiles and Hope first-ever book fair, its Founder Julia has been able to find alternative homes for the remainder of the books which went uncollected on Thursday, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Two Mile Hill, St Michael, Barbados.

Julia shared the great news with Loop Lifestyle this morning.

She said, "They were given to Donnah Russell, Executive Director of Variety Club to be distributed to book clubs." Speaking to the partnership with Variety and how the exchange came about on such short notice, she reminded that her international charity has been working with Variety "for over five years providing donations and hosting Christmas parties. We provided toys on a yearly basis for their Christmas parties."

Loop contacted a delighted Russell who said that they made sure to get the special needs units across the island involved and collected some books to share with those that were unable to attend, but she disclosed that some books will be introduced into Variety's own reading programme.

"We will enhance our reading programme. Even some of our volunteers who worked at the fair said the books and titles were very, very interesting. They said they would have loved to have books like that when they were in school and would even read some now still. These books are the kind of books children would pick up and read."

She said that many of the science books, "we know they would excite the children!" Russell said they answer a lot of the "why questions" children ask and the literature is current.

Presently, Variety the Children's Charity - the Barbados Tent has a reading programme that is one-on-one. They work with the Child Care Board to execute it. 

However, "we are now developing reading programmes for schools, but instead of after school we want to do it before school because some children get to school really early nowadays." This project has been piloted at the Erdiston Special School, and Russell said that the teacher-response has been good. She said teachers reported that students who participated in the before school reading programme are more settled and more focused when it's time for formal education to commence. 

Smiling, Russell disclosed that Variety the Children's Charity is looking to develop the reading programme with other schools starting with the Luther Thorne Memorial Primary School next.

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