In order to get students excited about reading and motivate parents to read to their children, Western Union and Grace Kennedy Money Services launched the 1st Annual Celebrity Reading Week and Reading Race. The event, which was held at primary schools across the GTA, featured members from the corporate sector, government officials, community leaders and surprise celebrity guests.
More than 100 children in grades 1 and 4 participated to read along with the special guest readers, who included CTV’s Karlene Nation, Dr. Rita Cox, Storyteller Patricia Jaggernauth from, CP24, Jessica Alex, Author of “What if the world had no colour,” Nardia McKenzie of Jampro and Nadine Mendez, representing the Jamaican Consulate.
The event also helped raise awareness about I P.L.E.D.G.E and its goals of helping thousands of school-age children in the Caribbean.
I P.L.E.D.G.E (I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education) is a programme established by GraceKennedy Remittances Services Ltd. and Western Union. The programme seeks to support the development of primary education in Jamaica through a focus in two areas: improving literacy, particularly reading and the computerization of schools
I P.L.E.D.G.E gives young Jamaican kids the chance at a brighter future by giving them access to educational technology tools such as computers. It is a multi-faceted programme, whichhas grown since its inception to include the Western Union National Reading Week, Book Donations, The Western Union National Schools English Competition, The Western Union Debate Competition and the Computerization Programme.
In Canada, I P.L.E.D.G.E has successfully raised awareness about the programme and its goals of helping thousands of school-age children in the Caribbean.
In 2012, I P.L.E.D.G.E Canada was launched with Celebrity Reading Day, an event that featured a host of celebrities and community leaders reading to youth at a local primary school. In 2013, the Celebrity Reading Day was expanded into an entire week, drawing even more support from the community and reaching primary schools across the Toronto area.
To further highlight the I P.L.E.D.G.E program, specifically the computerization of schools in Jamaica, the program will launch a Skype Event that utilizes technology in order to link primary students in Jamaica and Canada to connect, share and expand their horizons.