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Archive for the ‘Education’


Art Show in the Pioneer Preparatroy School - 2015

In spite of the fact that Dominica has already engaged a new academic year, I cannot forget one of the most memorable events that took place at the closure of the previous school year. On June 20, 2015, the Pioneer Preparatory School held an art exhibition presenting the work of its students, aged 4 to 12. The exhibition brought together teachers, students, parents, relatives and friends of the school, all of whom were simply the art friends of the young talents.

Personally, it was an exhilarating experience to see how children of Dominica view the world, and how this is reflected in their art work.

The first thing that caught my eye was the unique choice of bright and rich colours in all the art pieces. Retrospectively speaking, this is not really surprising as under the hot sun, there is simply no place for shades of grey. If one looks at the sea, he sees a mirror of brilliant blues; if he gazes at the mountains, he witnesses a lush green carpet.

Art Show in the Pioneer Preparatroy School - 2015 (more…)

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My wife Ruth and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Tom “TL” and Harriet Linskey, co-founders of Hands Across the Sea.

They’d been referred to us by our dear friend of 24 years who is now Principal at the Savanne Paille Primary School and were in Calibishie to learn how they could assist our village’s Primary School.

I’m going to repeat: www.handsacrossthesea.net is a web site you should visit. The organization helps with what is most fundamental to educational achievement. It fosters children’s reading programs in a number of English-speaking Eastern Caribbean nations.

In Dominica in the past three years they have shipped over 10,000 books to fill school libraries and classroom libraries.You can check out their accomplishments at the following link:http://www.handsacrossthesea.net/WhatHandsDoes.htm.

Hand across the Sea in Dominica

Hands Across the Sea is seeking donations from Americans who’d like to help get more books into the hands of children in Dominica and also benefit from a tax deduction.

They are also looking for volunteers in the New England area who might want to help buy books at Friends of the Library book sales this summer. They sort, pack and ship from a warehouse 30 minutes south of Boston and benefit from free shipping to Dominica. Please contact the organization via its website for more details.

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The video above is a short clip of 9-year-old Lemar Irish Junior performance at the Calypso Show 2010. Everyone, who was at the show, was amazed at level of talent from this 9-year-old, and the way in which he brought out this message to the huge crowd.

There is a popular saying in my motherland (Russia), that “Every joke has just a little part of a joke”. So, I hope Dominicans got a message, because it wasn’t only for children and youth, but was mostly directed to adults.

I’ve noticed that several book stores closed in Dominica during last year. Now there are only few book stores, some of which you can hardly refer to as a bookstore; because of the poor selection of books they carry. For example, in most cases there are about 12 shelves (maximum) of books in the store, 6 of which falls under fiction or love-story books (which is useless), and the other 6 shelves either pertains to cooking, local authors and text-books. That is really scary! You can hope that Dominicans order books online, but I doubt it. People do not read at all…Why?

Most adults like to blame the children and youth, who now mostly interested in other things like TV, cellphones, computer games and etc. It’s always easy to blame somebody else. But do not forget following:

  • Who really provide television service and make available cable channels? These are the same adults who are in-charge of the local programming of television and radio stations. And why is it there are no radio talk show programs about reading and book reviews? Do you agree that encouraging Dominicans to reading would be more important than all the other gossip and political talk shows?

    Why on the newspaper they publish soap updates, but not exciting book reviews, which will encourage people to read these books?

  • Children always look for example. They see that adults saying one thing but do another. Really, each of us (parents, ants and uncles, friends, teaches, stranger in the café), do we set example? Do you take a book with you to read in the nature, in the bus or at work? Do you read at home? Do you share your expressions of what you read with somebody else? Do you suggest somebody a book, because “it helps me to understand/know/learn/achieve…”, “it makes me laugh a lot…” and you can continue.

When I was a very young girl, I didn’t like to read. I thought that my imagination is better then any book :), so my father help to light a love for read in me. I remember everything like it was yesterday, but I will tell you only about one example. He knew I like cats a lot and at that time we had big fluffy black cat at home. From time to time, he called the cat “Hippopotamus”. I thought, because it was clumsy after eating food, but at one evening my father asked me if I want to hear a story about our cat, and he read a very funny excerpt from a book. It was about huge black cat with name “Hippopotamus”, which can talk and walk. It was a very interesting for me, and opened my heart to this book – at one breath I read “The Master and Margarita”, written by Mikhael Bulgakov. It’s a serious book about soviet regime, love, spirituality and nature of the people, but camouflaged to a very funny story about the Devil visiting Moscow.

To date, I convinced that if my father didn’t show it to me the way he did, through my love to my cat – I would probably never discover or understand that book. And most importantly, if he didn’t help me to discover a lot of other books, I would probably never like to read as I do now.

So, if our children do not like to read, it is not fully their fault! It is your responsibility too. If we want to build and develop this country, we need to start from encourage to reading books. Because the book is not only the door to other wonderful world, but it is the best teacher, university and source of wisdom!

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