News and Media

International Literacy Day 2016


by Richard Clewes
SOUFRIÈRE St. Lucia — September 9, 2016
This week in St. Lucia, as in Canada, kids are back in school. I went to Castries to retrieve 8 tons of books donated by students from Ontario only to find that our shipment was stuck in Customs. The delay gave me and my travel companion, videographer Jason Lupish, time to produce a short video. It’s a trailer” to promote the first-ever national running relay in St. Lucia. Find 52: The Road to Reading” will take place during the last week of school in July 2017. It will start in Soufriere then make a counter-clockwise circuit of the entire country: 167 K/104 miles.

In a relay you normally pass a baton. Instead, our actors ran through town and country carrying Me, Too” by Annika Dunklee (author) and Lori Joy Smith (illustrator). How better to demonstrate that stories can connect us – within a small community or to anyone in the world who likes a good story. Reading is sharing.

Sonya White and Leonise François will be very busy for the next 10 months managing the complex details for this event. But today was simple. And fun for the students.

Here’s a two minute glimpse into the most exciting place in the world: their future.

For reasons of privacy students who participated in the video cannot be identified. Permission from parents and guardians was obtained in writing prior to production. An off-duty Royal St. Lucia Police constable directed traffic; students were accompanied by a teacher. Thanks to: District Education Officer Mrs. Valencia Charlery; Principal Ms. Cecelia Clovis; and, the students of Soufrière Primary – who made the Find 52 story come to life. These readers can run.

From: Find 52

If you believe what you can, quite literally, believe anything.

Professor, Philosopher (1912-1991)

Life is too deep for words so don't try to describe it, just live it.

C. S. Lewis
Author, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

All I know is what I have words for.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Find 52: The Road to Reading in Grenada
In February 2015, Richard ran right around Grenada, a distance of 52 miles. 52 "Mile Captains" raised $40,000.

If we want to make this world a better place, then we have to become better ourselves. There is no easy route.

And the Winner in Montserrat is....
Marlaina White (Left) announces the Second Annual Rainforest of Reading Award to Illustrator Jan Dolby (Middle) and Author Joyce Grant for "Gabby."

At the moment that we persuade a child, any child to cross...that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever.


Reading brings us unknown friends.

Novelist (1799-1850)

Start some kind words on its travels. There is no telling where the good it may do will stop.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell
Humanitarian, Medical Missionary (1865-1940)
Out of this world
After reading "Postcards from Outer Space' a student in Montserrat is inspired to be the next Chris Hadfield.

Too many people grow up. That's the trouble with the world.

Challenging literacy development
Although English is the official language of St. Lucia, Krewyol is spoken as much or more outside the classroom.

I read. I travel. I become.

St. Lucian author & 1992 Nobel Laureate

The future is always beginning now. Each moment is a place you've never been.

Poet (1934-2014)

If you get the right [words] in the right order, you might nudge the world a little.

Sir Tom Stoppard

A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.

Author (1810-1889)

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

Philosopher, Psychologist (1842-1910)
It's a long story
Books packed by kids in Ontario for their peers in the Caribbean travel 1,800 kilometres by road then another 5,275 kilometres by container ship.

Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.

Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)

It is by acts and not ideals that people live.

Author (1844-1924)