(THE VOICE) – AS THE Early Learners Programme (ELP) Team in St. Vincent and the Grenadines grapples to find ways to continue to execute the early grade reading programme with current school closures, they have engaged students to help spread important messages.
The ELP is creatively supporting teachers, parents, and students while at home by producing interesting content to capture the attention of their audience. The ELP created four videos during movement restrictions to deliver key messages to the teachers, parents, and students. Each of the messages offered a different perspective to garner attention and reach their audiences in unique ways.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines ELP team has taken on the Xtempo challenge that has been circulating around the Caribbean. Calypsonians, soca artistes and other recognisable persons have created Xtempo videos with public messages to encourage persons to stay home during COVID – 19.
The team created their own Xtempo calypso that was presented by a child of one of the ELP coordinators with key messages encouraging teachers to support continued education and virtual learning for students during school closures.
Additionally, the ELP team collected short videos from two early grade students, one which encourages other students to read and one which encourages parents to help their children with reading and working at home. The ELP team believes that utilizing youth to convey these messages has a strong impact by connecting with the audience authentically.
The ELP coordination team also created a public service announcement with messages for parents and students with each team member being filmed from their respective homes.
All content is being shared on WhatsApp to the various educators and parents’ groups within St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Additionally, these messages will be shared on Facebook in the ELP parent’s and educator’s groups, and by the ELP team.
A series of ‘Read Alouds’ have also been produced to be aired online and on television and radio to ensure that those in the community who do not have electronic devices and internet connectivity can still be reached.
According to the National Focal Point for the ELP in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mrs. Mavis Findlay- Joseph: “It has been a challenge to find unique ways to connect to students, but we recognise how critical it is to reach our teachers, parents and students with important messages and content to assist them during these difficult times.
“What better way to have impactful connections than with our youth sharing key messages. We are committed to the continuation of the learning process in whatever way is currently feasible, and to reaching as many of our students as possible.”