Woman gets into character to promote reading program

One woman has taken to the street to make a point – there is a need to teach Caymanian children to read. 

On Monday, Vinnette Mae Glidden, creator of a locally designed reading program “I Read for Life,” took to the Kings roundabout with a team of dressed-up book characters and gymnastics performers Flo-Motion to bring awareness to reading in Cayman. 

Ms. Glidden, who organized the event along with husband Charles, explained that “I Read for Life” is something she created and used for two years to help children achieve their reading levels. 

The reading program uses a method that goes beyond learning ABC’s, said Ms. Glidden. It is not just about learning phonics, she said, and it’s aimed for the children of the Cayman Islands. 

“It is about giving individuals the fundamental tools they need to decode words and become confident readers for the rest of their lives.” Tiny Tots Academy preschool just adopted the reading program, she said. 

Mr. Glidden, who has been helping his wife edit the “I Read For Life” workbooks and manuals, said he has found himself using her method of reading when he encounters unfamiliar words. The program is different from most other reading programs, he said. 

Ms. Glidden is a graduate of Florida State University’s College of Communication, with a master’s degree in audiology and speech–language pathology. 

While working as a speech and language pathologist at various public schools in the Cayman Islands, she saw a relationship between auditory and visual perception and the ability to be an excellent reader. During this time, she began to develop the methodology that is the foundation of her “I Read For Life” program. The method, she said, is a new and unique way of teaching phonetics, which is the key to learning to read. 

In January 2012, Ms. Glidden was awarded an Education Pioneer Certificate in recognition of “outstanding contribution to the advancement of education in the Cayman Islands” as part of the National Heroes Day ceremony. 

Ms. Glidden runs the I Read For Life Center, based in the Barnett Building on Huldah Ave in George Town, which offers tutoring for children. 

Vinnette Mae Glidden, far left, and her husband Charles Glidden, in pirate costume, along with gymnasts from Flo-Motion and supporters at the Kings roundabout on Monday morning. - PHOTO: JEWEL LEVY

Vinnette Mae Glidden, far left, and her husband Charles Glidden, in pirate costume, along with gymnasts from Flo-Motion and supporters at the Kings roundabout on Monday morning. – PHOTO: JEWEL LEVY
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  1. Finally! Someone who is taking our children’s inability to read seriously! In this modern age with all the electronic distractions and smartphones, kids are just not learning to read properly, not to mention…spelling! Congratulations Vinnette and Charles! All of your staff as well! Success is always at hand with hard work!(Some theatrics don’t hurt either!)

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