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Call for others to step in and help promote literacy

Outgoing president of the Bermuda Reading Association Darnell Wynn called for parents and teachers to join the fight to improve literacy on the Island

She also urged interested teachers to step forward to take on board roles at the group's annual general meeting.

“We anticipate filling all vacant positions with enthusiastic persons willing to give of themselves for the benefit of Bermuda's teachers, children and parents,” she said.

“As educators we have to take the lead for what matters in education for Bermuda's children. We know what has to be done. We are the educators.”

Ms Wynn, who is set to step down as president of the group next month, told attendees at the association's annual conference on Saturday the group has moved forward with a number of initiatives but more work must still be done.

“I implore every educator and parent to now step up and do your part to ensure our young children learn how to read by the age of eight or sooner,” she said.

“I implore our parents to set a culture in their homes they values books. Buy them, read them, and talk about them with your children. Your children will gain immense literacy advantages if you set the opportunities for them in your home.

“I implore every teacher to continue to develop as lifelong learners as the complexities of learning about reading and teaching how to read does not stop with a degree.

We have to stop labelling our children, stop pushing the struggling reader aside and stop minimising the amount of books children must read! Instead, join forces with each to look for innovative ways to ‘teach Johnny how to read'.

“Fight for effective teaching practices, quality assessments and hold yourselves accountable for every child in your care, not just the ones that already come to you knowing how to learn.”

Ms Wynn, who has served as the organisation's president since 2010, noted several initiatives launched by the charity in recent years, including the Get Fit for Literacy 5K.

“We often neglect the connection between fitness and brain activity, however, the reality is the better health our children and we are in, the more able we are to process information and be efficient in our lives,” she said.

Ms Wynn also said the group has been able to organise a number of quality conference speakers in recent years and continued its Parents as Literacy Partners workshops and its Reading in the Park initiative for preschoolers.

She hailed the work of Alice Carr, who was awarded the 2013 Literacy Advocacy Award for her work refurbishing public school libraries, and St David's teacher Christy Foggo, who was honoured with the 2013 President's Award.

“We have much to be proud of and the hope that this work will continue,” she said. “We do it for the children; we do it so that our teachers have some opportunity to experience the expertise of international literacy experts at the fraction of the cost of travelling to overseas confidence.

“We do it because of our love, passion and advocacy of reading proficiency for all Bermuda residents.”

Darnell Wynn

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Published September 11, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm)

Call for others to step in and help promote literacy

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