Optimist International Caribbean District Leadership and Development Chair, Barbara Arrindell is pitching a proposal to the entire District that could bring new dynamics to our reading activities this February. Here is the proposal from one of the Caribbean's outstanding writer and trainer, our very own Optimist Barbara (Optimist Club of St Johns, Antigua). Support. See other Caribbean District correspondence for incentives.
February is Optimist Club of __________Reading Month
Although this project originally targets JOOI (Youth Members) and encourages these youth to do something to get their peers reading more, adult clubs can seize the opportunity to get involved in reading activities and projects. What simple things can we do to get our youth more interested in either reading or the art of storytelling?
Option A: The Art of Story Telling.
We can create a series of pictures and have children get together in groups of 3 or 4 children to make up a story based on the pictures. Speak to them about the importance of speaking clearly, of showing expression and of changing their voices to depict different characters in the story. This can be done with children between the ages of 4 & 13. It could be done in a single classroom or since many of us work and school hours might be a challenge we can pair up and do this with church groups or brownies/cubs/scouts or any other youth group that you know of.
What would be required?
We would need to put together the pictures.
Speak to the leader of a youth group and see if they would be willing to have you spend a half hour or more with their group.
If possible have little tokens on hand that can be used as prizes.
Since February is also Black history month, we might want to incorporate pictures/stories of our own Black heroes/heroines/community leaders.
Option B: Reading activity for Grade 3 or 4
A club member could ask a 4th grade teacher to allow them to (1) talk to the class about the importance of reading, and (2) allow them to actually read a local or Caribbean story to the class, AND if time permits, (3) have one or two students retell the story in an animated manner.
Is there a children’s radio show in your territory? Radio hosts are often searching for new voices. Volunteer to spend a few minutes on air reading a story. This is a great way to promote your local club – be sure to say the name of your club often and say what Optimism is all about – (The elevator speech) and state that like minded people are welcome to join the club so that more can be done to help the children.