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LIFE inspires love for reading with donation of 80,000 books

Local News 13 Jul, 2023 Follow News

From left to right, Erin Galatopoulos (LIFE’s Book Donations Coordinator) and Erica Dell’Oglio (LIFE’s Executive Director) at LIFE’s first Book Fair held at Red Bay Primary School at the end of June 2023 where every student from Reception to Year 6 got to choose a free book to take home.

Literacy Is For Everyone (LIFE), a leading advocate for literacy and education, is proud to announce the donation of an incredible 80,000 books to the Cayman Islands public school system, preschools, and communities.  Since its establishment in 2012, LIFE has been dedicated to addressing the issues of low literacy levels in the Cayman Islands through long-term solutions and inclusive programs.

LIFE’s signature programmes, including Book Donations, Paired Reading, Thrive By Five, Partners in Print, and the Education for Everyone Project aim to provide children of all ages and backgrounds with the tools and support needed to foster their love of reading.  These programmes are designed to ensure that high-interest, developmentally appropriate books and educational resources are accessible to all children.

As the largest donor of books to the public school system, LIFE has donated over 48,000 books in the last 4-5 years.  This includes the provision of classroom libraries for every primary school and textbooks needed for student examination preparation.

Recently, LIFE held its first-ever Book Fairs, donating 502 books to the students at Red Bay Primary School and Edna Moyle Primary School. The Book Fairs were inspired by research in the latest Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report, which found that children are more likely to engage in reading for fun when they have chosen their own books. The enthusiasm of the students in attendance reflected the success of this initiative.

“LIFE is thrilled to have reached this incredible milestone of 80,000 books donated,” said Erin Galatopoulos, LIFE’s Book Donations Coordinator. “With our goal of providing classroom libraries for all government primary schools in Cayman achieved last year, we are focusing on developing the classroom libraries of John Gray High School and Clifton Hunter High School, as well as providing books for students’ homes and supporting  LIFE’s Early Childhood programmes.”

The recent Government Data Report for the Academic Year 2021–22  revealed that only 27% of the assessed Year 6 students at government primary schools met expectations in reading, writing, and arithmetic during the previous academic year.

“These findings are very troubling,” said LIFE’s Executive Director, Erica Dell’Oglio. “They highlight the urgent need to improve literacy outcomes for Cayman’s children.  We are committed to extending our programmes and initiatives to more children and families, emphasising the importance of language and fostering a love of reading. We are immensely grateful to our generous donors, dedicated volunteers, and community partners as their support is instrumental in our mission.”

LIFE frequently collaborates with other education and community focused organisations, including the Ministry of Education, the Early Childhood Care and Education Unit (ECCEU), the Cayman Islands Early Childhood Association (CIECA), the Family Resource Centre, and other non-profits, to maximise their impact in the community.

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