Thursday, December 8, 2016

And more readers who read in schools for Child Month 2016

While most of our readers were writers of material for children or YA, there were others who either wrote for adults, or weren't writers at all. So as we get to the end of the year, thanks must go to all of them who responded to the call from JaWS to read in our schools.

Rebecca Tortello:
I read at Carbury Court pictured here with the librarian in the library. It was lots of fun to read with the children as they participated eagerly, and I wound up reading three  stories as they showed such keen interest.  Lots of smiles all around. 
I read Big and book part of Literacy 123,  Silly Sally Audrey W ood and Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andrae. All three are good read alouds that invite movement and laughter but also promote thought and reflection.

I enjoyed reading…encouraged me to write again. 

Bio: From 2007-2011, Dr. Rebecca Tortello served as a Senior Advisor/Consultant to the Minister of Education with special responsibility for early childhood, primary and parenting issues. Dr. Tortello holds a PhD in Comparative Education and Sociology from Columbia University, a Masters in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in History and Literature from Harvard University.

A former Assistant Professor of Education at New York’s Adelphi University, for the past ten years, Dr. Tortello regularly lectures at the University of the West Indies. She is the author of a number of articles on education as well as the popular history book, “Pieces of the Past – A Stroll Down Jamaica’s Memory Lane” (now in its second printing). Dr. Tortello has edited and advised on a number of early childhood series for Jamaica and co-written the Teacher's Guide for Pearson's "1,2,3, You and Me." She has also written a number of children’s books including "My Jamaican ABCs," “Nancy and Grandy Nanny,” and the Ministry of Education’s titles, “Big and Strong” and “Colouring My School.”

From April 2012 to February 2015, Dr. Tortello focused on expanding the scope of the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation as its General Manager.  In March 2015, she began a new position as Quality Education Advisor at UNICEF Jamaica.
Dr. Tortello has also served on various school boards, the National Council on Education, the Jamaica Library Service, the Council of the Institute of Jamaica, chairing its Museums Division, as well as the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, the Early Childhood Commission and the National Museum Foundation.
Dr. Tortello is married to Dr. Jonathan Greenland and they have two young children, Rhys and Maria.

Marie Cunnigham-Clarke
Book read: "Abigail's Glorious Hair" by Diane Browne

  The Grade 3 class connected immediately with the story about Abigail's "Poufey" hair.  Both the boys and girls enjoyed reminiscing on their own Poufey hair and having it combed and de-tangled to their own occasional "OW!"  The children joined in the "one two twist, one two twist" chorus as Abigail's mother daintily parted and twisted her hair to produce eight beautiful twists all over Abigail's head.  They LOVED the illustrations and in particular the girls exclaimed with delight when they saw Abigail's trendy outfit and hairstyle at the end of the story.  The session ended with the students drawing different aspects of the story.  The  Class Monitor then formally thanked me on behalf of the students.  A truly delightful experience to see how the book boosted the self image of the children and helped them to celebrate and appreciate their African roots.  I was subsequently invited to be a guest reader to a Grade 4 class on June 1, Literacy Day. 

Bio: Marie Cunnigham-Clarke, is a Communications Consultant (retired). She conceptualized and is responsible for adjudicating a Speak Up Programme at St Andrew High School for Grades 7-10 students.  The programme  aims to improve students' use of Standard English through annual conversational, poetry and literary  competitions. Grade level winners receive cash and book prizes.

Marie was recently elected President of The International Proxy Parents (IPP), a non-profit organization which raises funds for less fortunate children  in Jamaica. Each year IPP gives over $1.5m in scholarships  and assistance to State run childrens' homes in Jamaica.

 Erika Heslop Martin
 “Reading maketh a full man, so read and read all you can”. (Francis Bacon) This is a powerful statement and I believe that it was very fitting for the “Read Across Jamaica” programme organized by the Jamaican Writers Society and the Jamaica Library Service. On April 27, 2016, I started the reading programme at Holy Childhood Preparatory School. I read from the children’s story book: “No Boy like Amanada” written by Hope Barnett. The children had a wonderful time. They were filled with enthusiasm and excitement.
On May 3, 2016, “Read Across Jamaica Day,” I read from the children’s story book: “Butterfly Meadows” by Olivia Moss at Elim Early Childhood Development Centre. It was such a delightful experience with these 5 and 6 year old children. On May 10, 2016, I read the fishing chapter from the children’s book: “No Boy Like Amanda “ to a group of 4th graders from the Porter’s Centre for Knowledge, this was facilitated by Bookophilia. These children were remarkable! Their motto for the day was: “Readers are leaders!”
On May 27, 2016, I read to another group of children from New Providence Primary School which was also facilitated by Bookophilia. It was wonderful! The book that I read from was: “Tek mi! Tek mi noh!” a book of Caribbean folk tales published by Carlong Publishers Limited. The reading programme was great and I would definitely participate again. Many thanks to the Jamaican Writers Society and Jamaica Library Service for organizing the programme.
Bio: Erika Heslop Martin is a Writer/Poet and Business Professional with over twenty years of writing experience and over twelve years of professional experience in accounting, financial and administrative management from several corporate entities in Jamaica.  She is a graduate of Camperdown High, the University of Technology, Jamaica and the University College of the Caribbean. She has published three books of poetry and motivational messages (A Poetic Revelation, The Power of Words and A Poetic Journey) and is in the process of writing other books. She contributes poetry to the Sunday Gleaner periodically, Facebook , you tube and She also presents poetry at a wide variety of events and judges poetry competitions as well. Her books can be found on Amazon and in several bookstores in Jamaica. She is a Director of the Jamaican Writers Society, a member of Book Industry Association of Jamaica, a member of the Poetry Society of Jamaica, a member of JAM Copy, a member of We Connect International and a member of Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica. She is a Creative Entrepreneur with a lot of potential; and is excited about exploring and utilizing all her talents to live a more fulfilling life and to make a positive contribution to her country and the world at large. She loves to write, read, recite poetry, dance, sing, cook, dabble into fashion, take pictures, travel, motivate others to be the best they can be and invest time with God, family and friends.





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