The Road to Reading: Nevis 2015/16

Beneath cloud-crowned Nevis Peak, the first-ever Rainforest of Reading festival was held on Friday, November 6, 2015. Holding banners and wearing costumes to represent 12 different books, three grades of primary students marched into Elquemedo Willett Park. At the head of the parade was a brass band whose cacophonous melodies stirred the crowd of over 500 students, teachers and parents. The parade marked the end of a month-long journey through 12 stories and kicked off a day-long celebration of literacy. As well as playing various word and picture games, participants met special guests Cynthia Grenyion (author of Mr. Circle Man) and Gabrielle Grimard (illustrator of Today, Maybe) from Montréal. All 11 schools on Nevis attended. Students also cast their votes for the Rainforest of Reading Award for most popular title of this year's festival.

Find52x2: The world runs on literacy

In the run-up to this week's inaugural Rainforest of Reading in Nevis, Co-Executive Director Richard Clewes will, in fact, be running.... a complete 20 mile circuit of the island. "The world runs on literacy so what better way to draw attention to the first ever literacy festival in St. Kitts & Nevis" said Richard. Find52 is the fundraising project of OneWorld Schoolhouse with all monies raised going to pay for the Rainforest of Reading festivals and book donations to school libraries in Grenada, St. Lucia, Montserrat and St. Kitts & Nevis. In February 2015, Richard ran right around Grenada - a distance of 52 miles. On Friday, January 15, 2016 Richard will join Canadian and St. Lucian former Olympic athletes in Soufrière for a four day run, completing what is believed to be the first ever 102 mile circuit of St. Lucia. Meanwhile, in Nevis, organizers hope youth sports clubs will join Richard along his run.

News: Nevis joins the Rainforest of Reading

In June 2015, a trip was organized by John Allen, Honorary Consul General of St. Kitts & Nevis to Canada, so Richard Clewes could met with Mr. Wakely Daniel, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Premier of Nevis. Mr. Daniel approved of the idea of bringing the Rainforest of Reading to St. Kitts & Nevis – which was enthusiastically endorsed by Mrs. Palsy Wilkin, Principal Education Officer. Thanks to a vigorous spirit of collaboration, venue, logistics and book selections were rapidly worked out. In August, Cynthia Grenyion, the Ministry of Education's Literacy Specialist, travelled to Canada to finalize details with Sonya White. Cynthia is the former president of the Jamaica Reading Association and a children's book author. Her latest book, "Mr. Circle Man", was selected as one of 12 books for the inaugural Rainforest of Reading. The festival takes place on Friday, November 6th in Charlestown. Over 500 students from grades 3, 4 and 5 will be attending.

St. Kitts & Nevis & The Rainforest of Reading

The Rainforest of Reading began in Nevis in November 2015. An independent nation since 1983, Saint Kitts & Nevis is one of the smallest sovereign states in the world. Population: 54,000; 261 km. Nevis lies about 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called "The Narrows." The major source of revenue for Nevis today is tourism. Approximately 40,000 tourists visit Nevis annually.The islands are of volcanic origin, with large central peaks covered in tropical rainforest. In Nevis, several thousand Vervet monkeys emerge from their forest homes and raid small farms and gardens for fruit and vegetables. It is said that these primates – who came to the island three centuries ago on slave ships from West Africa – outnumber humans two to one.

Participation facts: Nevis

Total Primary School Students Grade 3, 4 & 5 Students No. of Primary Schools No. of Participating Schools
2,100 554 11 11