A $2 million reading centre will soon be established in East Canje, Berbice, as part of an initiative by private citizens to improve literacy in the area.
According to a Department of Public Information (DPI) report, the centre will be located at Lot 34 Canefield Village. It is the first of its kind for the area and aims to afford residents the opportunity to improve their reading and vocabulary skills
Infrastructural works on the centre are expected to be completed by January month-end and its doors opened to citizens sometime in early February, the DPI report added.
When commissioned, the new reading facility will focus primarily on improving the literacy skills of its members. Children from as young as six years old will be catered for, while a special class is anticipated for adults who are also desirous of attending.
Jocelle Seabra Wint, who is also a pastor, said the project came to mind from her encounters with several youths during which she realised that many of them were struggling with reading. She explained that in times past, she had volunteered her time in a programme called ‘Reading is Essential’, a one-week reading initiative held every August. However, she stated that with the emigration of many of the organisers and her moving out of town, the programme became dormant.
“One week is not sufficient and I wanted to have something that is more consistent. So, I thought, why not have a centre where the children can come during the week and not just wait for August holidays, especially for those children who may not be able to afford lessons,” Wint was quoted as saying. She added, “The centre is open to them whether they can afford it or not. We want to enhance the reading skills of the youths within our society.”
The pastor stated that initial works on the building had commenced last October, but a lack of resources resulted in a change of the anticipated date for completion of the facility at that time. Nevertheless, to date, several persons having seen the importance of the project, have since contributed towards making the education plans possible. She noted that more work has to be done, but hopes to have the project concluded by the end of January.
Wint, along with her husband who is also a pastor, said that their aim is to establish a reading centre in each administrative region.