Helping the youth

mikey volunteers with ywca reading club

This year’s four-time Monarch Mikey, has joined the team of volunteers with the Young Women’s Christian Association’s Free Reading Club.

YWCA President Paige Bryan was pleased to have Mikey on board and thanked him for volunteering his services. She explained that the Club assists the children with their homework and develop their literacy skills.

“With assistance from Corporate Barbados and other individuals, we can fully achieve our objectives and expand the club with one in each parish” added Bryan.

Coordinator of the Reading Club and Board Member, Tamita Griffith indicated that a number of persons have volunteered their services including MP for the area, Chris Sinckler, reigning Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch Red Plastic Bag, krosfyah lead singer Khiomal Nurse, entertainer Keann Walters and entertainment entrepreneur Peter Boyce.

Griffith stated, “We want to create an environment where the children feel welcomed and see education as fun. There are a number of exciting programmes we have planned for all ages and ability levels. We must all join in instilling the love of reading and develop cultural literacy which will lead to a lifelong love for learning”.

Bryan noted that the club was 10 years old and she believed it helped open children to new ideas and ways of thinking. She said they had used a lot of social media in reaching out to parents and children and the Club consistently had a core of about 20 children involved each Saturday.

The involvement of “celebrities”, she said, was good for the Club, as it demonstrated to the community the importance which such persons held reading.

“It is the first time we are doing this. Mikey was the first to come and the others have pledged time, but it sends a message that even though these persons are busy they are willing to give time to assist children in the enjoyment of the wonders of reading. It is only two-and-a-half hours on a Saturday.

“People think of giving back as giving money but this says you can also give of your time which I think is just as critical,” the president stated.

After concluding his first day, an excited Mikey complimented the Club and stated, “If we as a society can assist with programmes such as these, we would have played a major role in the creation of our country’s literacy population. I am impressed with the level of potential demonstrated today and proud to be a part of this initiative by the YWCA and I encourage others to volunteer for this cause.”

The Club, facilitated by a team of volunteers, runs concurrently with the school term and is held, at the YWCA’s Training Centre in Deacons every Saturday from 10am – 12:30 p.m. It caters to children ages four to 18, and Bryan said they could always use more volunteers.

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