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UK School donates books and sportswear to local schools

UK School donates books and sportswear to local schools

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The Booker Hill Primary and Nursery School of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in the UK has recently donated a quantity of books and sportswear to the Kingstown Government School and the Calder Government School.{{more}}

The donation followed a visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in March 2010 by a team of head teachers from High Wycombe, led by Geraldine O’Brien, Headteacher of the Booker Hill School, during which they visited Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, as well as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, students and staff of the Kingstown Government School. High Wycombe is home to a large community of Vincentians.

The purpose of the visit was to establish Professional Partnership links with local schools that share some common features with schools in High Wycombe, at primary/primary and secondary/secondary levels. Kingstown Government School was chosen to partner with Booker Hill as both are located in an urban area with high levels of social and economic deprivation. Based on their findings, the team decided to focus on a project to improve reading comprehension as an aspect of literacy on which both schools could keep in touch via the Internet.

On returning to High Wycombe, O’Brien organised a number of fundraising activities to buy teaching materials to get the project up and running. Parents and families of the Booker Hill School donated some 450 books of children’s literature, ranging from picture story books to novels for older readers, with the intention of starting a lending library. Moreover with the support of members from the local community who were originally from Calder Village, a large number of exercise books were added to the consignment. Included also was a quantity of football shirts and footballs donated by the local football club. After further consideration, the Booker Hill School decided to send the consignment to both the Calder Government School, whose Headteacher is Veronica Trotman, and the Kingstown Government School under Headteacher Maureen Brackin.

Delivery of the consignment was facilitated locally by Dr Arnold Thomas, who had conducted Cultural Awareness Seminars in collaboration with the Wycombe District Council during the 1990s. On delivery of the items, both Headteachers expressed their gratitude to the Booker Hill School, the Vincentians in High Wycombe and to Mrs O’Brien, in particular, for their generosity in putting together the consignment, which they said was a valuable addition to their library resources that would greatly enhance the reading comprehension skills of the students.

The Booker Hill Headteacher also indicated that this would be the first part of an ongoing project, aimed at improving standards of reading comprehension.

It should be recalled that there are strong historical links between High Wycombe and St. Vincent and the Grenadines going back to the 1950s, when many Vincentians migrated there in search of work. Over the years there have been several partnership projects between organisations in High Wycombe and SVG.