In a show of dedication and commitment, 90 students from Mayaro and environs took advantage of a literacy skills vacation camp at the Mayaro Resource Centre. The camp was administered by the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA) and sponsored by BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT). Since joining forces in 2004, ALTA and bpTT have collaborated on several programmes to raise literacy levels in the south-eastern community for people of all ages. Kelli Kirk, a student of the Service Volunteered for All (SERVOL) Junior Life Centre, said: “I am glad to get this opportunity and I’m really making progress with the help of the ALTA teachers who are patient and understanding. “I am reading much better and this has opened up a new world for me. Other youths might see this as giving up my holidays, but I see it as a journey to make myself better.”
The camp, which started in 2005, spans the July-August vacation period and presents an opportunity for young people to sharpen up on their literacy skills, including reading and spelling through guidance from the expertly trained ALTA tutors. Ronda Francis, corporate responsibility manager, bpTT, said giving the students a foundation for greater accomplishment was one of the main reasons for the camp. “These young people just need a little extra attention in order to become more comfortable with reading and other literacy skills. The workshops are the ideal mechanism to help them make real progress going into a new school term.
“Over the years, the kids that take part leave here with a higher level of aptitude and more importantly, a renewed sense of confidence. In partnering with ALTA, we believe that the more we energise the minds of our young people, the nation’s future will be assured.”
The classes are divided into different levels according to the specific needs of the students ranging from beginner to level two, with a special spelling class. In an effort to maintain individual attention, the classes are scheduled with morning and evening sessions. “When these students graduate, they will receive a certificate of participation, but more than that, they get a brand new opportunity to learn and grow. “The light in their eyes and their smiles are an indication of how much this workshop is transforming their lives. “It’s good that bpTT has shared this vision with us because at the end of the day, these young people are the leaders of the future and any investment in them really is an investment in a better tomorrow for Trinidad and Tobago,” Felicitas Kissoon, the ALTA co-ordinator for the morning session said.