December 14, 2017

LIFE donates to the Cayman Islands Transition Unit

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(Literacy Is For Everyone) has made its first book of the school year to the , a government programme that helps children who need extra learning support in their Reception year.

170 books were carefully selected as a comprehensive collection to engage the interest of emerging readers age 5-6. The collection includes books with sounds, non-fiction titles, read-aloud books that help the development of vocabulary, and early readers for children to read on their own.

Transition Unit Classroom Teacher Lisa O’Donoghue knows from experience the importance of finding books that appeal to her students. “Some children are reluctant to pick up a book,” she says. “These noisy books are fantastic for getting children interested in books and making reading fun for them.”

The Transition Unit was formed in 2011 to integrate children into mainstream primary schools who might otherwise have required special education. A designated Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Counsellor and Educational Psychologist work with the teaching team to provide both one-to-one and group sessions.
Based at George Town Primary School, the Transition Unit’s six students join in PE, music lessons and assemblies at the school. “This provides the children with an inclusive environment and prepares them for Year 1 in their respective primary schools next year,” says O’Donoghue.

The classroom library donation is the first in an ongoing partnership between LIFE and the Transition Unit. The benefits of classroom libraries and exposing young minds to books are well documented. Recent studies have confirmed what educators have known for years: the more contact children have with books, the better readers they become.

LIFE’s Classroom Library Project aims to support literacy in public schools by improving the quality and quantity of books available to children. To date, LIFE has donated more than 5,000 books to primary schools across the .

“Our goal is to donate an additional 10,000 books to primary schools this year,” says Marilyn Conolly, Executive Director of LIFE. “This is made possible by the generosity of our private and corporate sponsors and through the book drives organised by schools and volunteers.”

About LIFE: LIFE (‘Literacy is for Everyone’) is Cayman’s only independent charity solely dedicated to increasing literacy levels in the Cayman Islands and transforming lives through our literacy programmes. LIFE provides literacy intervention, parenting education, classroom libraries through book donations, and 100+ paired reading volunteers for children needing reading assistance. We believe that education is the key to improving living standards so we support students in developing the life-long skill of literacy while sparking a joy of reading.

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Picture (L-R): Erin Galatopoulos – LIFE, Lisa O’Donoghue – Transition Unit Teacher, Marilyn Conolly – LIFE.

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