Maples and Calder and Maples Finance has announced that as a group initiative to encourage a love of reading among children on the Island, it has launched the Maples reading programme.
The programme will provide support and funding to community reading programmes in addition to introducing its own reading initiatives which it hopes will encourage children to become avid readers. With over 50 of its staff signed-up as volunteers, Maples joint managing partner, Charles Jennings said that the group could make a huge contribution by not only funding reading programmes but also providing volunteers to assist with their coordination.
Maples’ first major reading project is the Cayman Whistling Duck Book Award.
The firm has partnered with the Department of Education Services to create the WDBA, Cayman’s first ever book award. The award will be presented to three international authors of children’s books each year, starting with the inaugural event in April 2009. The winning authors will be selected from three book categories: young readers (five to eight years), junior readers (nine to twelve years) and teens (thirteen years and older). “The school and community activities planned around the award will create great opportunities to expose children to reading in a fun setting,” Charles said. “The various WDBA activities will also give our employees the opportunity to volunteer and get involved in reading initiatives, which is something they are extremely keen to do.”
In addition to sponsoring the WDBA, members of the firm’s marketing staff are also coordinating the award’s public relations, promotion and event planning. Sheree Harrison, Maples director of marketing, said that often the additional types of resources Maples can provide are equally or more valuable to organisations than just writing them a cheque. She explained that this is because charities, special projects and programmes are frequently understaffed because they rely on volunteers.
Charles said that the WDBA is the first of many reading initiatives the Maples group hopes to be involved in and they look forward to hearing from any organisations that would like their assistance.