Manchester reading clinic breaks barriers
More than 120 students benefit from the Manchester leg of the recently concluded Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic summer camp. The programme ran from July 24-28 at Manchester High School and catered to students ages 6-17.
Held under the theme, 'Breaking barriers: Building Literate Communities Through Partnership in the 21st Century', the summer camp saw supervisors Marion Mills, Maureen Simpson and Sheryl Nembhard, as well as more than 20 volunteers, uniting for one common cause.
The Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic was founded by Santana Morris. She said that the
objective is to eradicate the low literacy rate in Jamaica by strategically teaching students to master the art of reading.
"I wanted to learn more about how to train persons who are non-readers so that I could make a better impact on the society in general," Shaneka Henry-McLean, a volunteer, said.
Henry-McLean, who is an educator, said that even though it took a lot of sacrifices, she described the experience as very rewarding.
"I think I passed on more values and attitudes to them; attitude towards reading and attitude towards each other. There were times I had to use the reading games to teach them how to abide by rules. I think the one week was very effective in shaping them, in terms of their appreciation for reading," McLean said.
Kerine Lindsay, whose son is a part of the programme, sang praises of the summer camp.
One of the main objectives of the camp was to address the five components of literacy, which include fluency, comprehension skills, vocabulary development, phonemic and phonological development. The students were introduced to numerous activities to enhance and improve their reading ability.
Annastacia Martin, an eight-year-old student at Charagape Elementary School, said "it was fun. I learnt words and how to read some of the books".
An enthused camper, six-year-old Jamique Clarke from May Pen Primary, said: "I learnt to spell words, write stories about the zoo, the beach and school."
Meanwhile, Mills, in commenting on the second staging of the camp, said it was very successful.
"Reading is very important. In all aspects of life, there is always something that has to do with reading. It is said that reading maketh a full man, so if you cannot read, there's so much you miss out on. As soon as you start reading, doors open. Reading is very important in all aspects," she said.