Lions take pride in the Reading is Cool scheme

Graduates of the Lions Club of
Tropical Gardens’ Reading is Cool literacy workshop gained certificates of
participation and competency recently. The primary school children had been
involved in the initiative since September. During the monthly sessions,
members of the group gained proficiency in phonetics and reading. The 12
participants were also taught basic nutritional information and life skills.

The graduates from across Grand
Cayman were given their awards by the chairperson of the club’s Childhood and
Youth Committee, Jondo Obi.

On the morning of the ceremony, the
graduates watched a private screening of Underdog. The animated film, screened
for the children in Dr. Steve Tomlinson’s home movie theatre, was chosen because
of its underlying lesson, which is that we can all become heroes, Mrs. Obi

The group was later treated to
lunch at Casanova Restaurant, followed by the prize-giving. Each child also
received toys donated by Lions members.

The workshop is an annual
initiative, and the club’s Early Childhood and Youth Committee recruits
participants by liaising with local primary school principals.

Each child was partnered with a
Lion, who took the child to and from the group and mentored participants.

“It was quite hard saying goodbye,
as we’d all built up close personal relationships with children,” Mrs. Obi

“As well as developing their
phonetic and reading skills, we took the group to the library and to educational
places, like Animal House, during our Saturday sessions. They also got to learn
a sense of community and what it is to be a Lion.”

The chairperson, who is the
director general of the Cayman Islands Red Cross, said that the programme also
instilled a “sense of self-confidence and academic achievement in the

“They’ve all developed a love of
reading through the workshop, which we hope they’ll further develop at home and
at school,” she added.

George Town Primary School
Principal Marie Martin welcomes the literacy boost the workshop provides and
said, “Partnerships of this kind, between local service clubs and local
schools, are to be encouraged. Two of our pupils graduated in this year’s
workshop and have shown a marked pride and enthusiasm for reading and writing.”

The Reading is Cool workshop was
set up five years ago. 

The Lions Club of Tropical Garden
meets at the Lions Den in the Lions Centre on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each
month, 7.30pm.