Providenciales, 28 Oct 2015 – The Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Beaches and Sandals Resorts International, unveiled a new collaboration with Scholastic Book Fairs aimed at improving literacy among students in the Turks & Caicos Islands and the Caribbean.
Scholastic made the announcement at the Social Media On the Sand event at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, where special guests Amy Mascott and Alison McDonald, authors of the soon-to-be-released new book Raising a Rock-Star Reader, addressed an audience of influential bloggers.
Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic that hosts more than 130,000 book-sale events in schools annually, will sponsor Reading Road Trip, the Sandals Foundation’s educational outreach program operated by Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours. The weekly program affords guests of Sandals and Beaches Resorts the opportunity to visit a Sandals Foundation supported schools such the Enid Capron Primary in Five Cays, to lend literacy, comprehension and vocabulary support and give books to students throughout the school year.
“Scholastic is one of the most vibrant organizations instilling passion for reading among children in the world today,” said Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs for the Sandals Foundation. “We are thrilled to be working with them and to have them as our partner here in Turks and Caicos and the Caribbean,” she concluded.
To help ensure young students throughout the Caribbean have access to great books, Scholastic Book Fairs, through the Scholastic Possible Fund, will donate 25,000 books to be utilized by local schools in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, The Turks & Caicos Islands, Grenada, and Barbados which the Sandals Foundation supports. Scholastic will also provide Caribbean students and educators with a one-year subscription to Scholastic’s BookFlix program, an online interactive literacy resource that helps reinforce reading skills by pairing classic fictional video storybooks with nonfiction e-books from Scholastic.
“We are delighted to be able to join with Sandals Foundation to provide much-needed books and other literacy resources to thousands of students at schools throughout the Caribbean,” said Dillon Kalkhurst, Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships for Scholastic Book Fairs. “By doing our small part to promote the ‘adventure of reading’, we hope to encourage a lifelong passion for books that will serve these children for many years to come.”
Shocking changes in UK COVID strategy as demands intensify for PM Johnson’s resignation
By Dana Malcolm
#UnitedKingdom, January 20, 2022 – In a shocking twist Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that come Thursday January 20, the United Kingdom will no longer mandate the National Health Services pass for use in public spaces and offices.
Residents will no longer be mandated to work from home which could see hundreds of thousands of workers returning to shared office spaces. Face masks will no longer be government mandated for residents or in classrooms, the announcement was met with screams of joy from gathered politicians in the House of Commons.
Meanwhile omicron still manages to evade vaccines and boosters and Pfizer is scrambling to create a vaccine to temper the variant, which reportedly presents as milder in vaccinated individuals.
The news comes as trouble is brewing in the United Kingdom for Prime Minister Boris Johnson even after his shock announcement ending several COVID-19 protocols early this week. Calls for the Prime Minister to leave office have grown louder and louder with even senior conservatives turning their backs on Johnson.
It was said the softening of restrictions were to distract from the Prime Minister ‘bring your own booze’ staff party held at #10 Downing Street during the lockdown of 2020.
One Senator publicly switched sides and a former Minister told Johnson “in the name of God go.”
Johnson is accused of flagrantly touting the rules he himself out into place while fellow Britons were suffering during lockdown.
The BBC reports that so far six Conservative MPs have publicly declared no confidence in the PM, but more are thought to have submitted letters to that effect.
If Johnson does not step down or regain his party’s faith, a leadership election in the Conservative party could be looming on the horizon.
Unbossed, unbought Mia Mottley leads BLP to historic back to back, full sweep Election Victory
By Dana Malcolm
#Barbados, January 20, 2022 – “They who helped raise me carried me on this occasion…The working class, the workers of this country will remain at the centre of what we do.”
The words of Prime Minister Mia Mottley at her swearing in ceremony early Thursday morning.
Mottley was sworn in for a second term as Prime Minister alongside Attorney General Dale Marshall after a whirlwind of a year in 2021 where she reached international acclaim as one of the strongest and most respected Caribbean voices in the fight against climate change and being named a United Nations 2021 Champion of the Earth.
Mottley who also transformed her country into a Republic was voted in along with all General Election candidates of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP) managing to successfully sweep all 30 seats for the second consecutive time in history. Local media have dubbed the feat, “Red Wash Number 2.”
The elections which were called 18 months early faced foul cries and injunctions from opponents of the BLP but Bajan voters put the matter to rest with an overwhelming victory for the party.
A hoarse Mottley had much to say to the Bajan People
“Barbadians are far more perceptive than we give them credit for, we are buoyed by [the win], we are humbled by the confidence, I have given the commitment that I have to be the opposition to the government because I must not in any way break the oath that I just took.”
She announced that a revised Cabinet would be announced to the public on Monday after a weekend of careful reflection and rest. She made it clear that Barbados would be continuing on its track as a regional leader.
“We shall endeavor to continue the process of transformation so our country will be able to face [future] challenges, there is still the aspirations of development that we set as a nation when we became independent in 1966, closing the development gap, eliminating poverty from our landscape, ensuring that our children can be educated to the maximum and above all else that our people shall remain owners in their land and not tenants.”
The general election was contested on January 19th by representatives from seven parties and several independents. No official data has been released in terms of voter turnout yet but 266,330 Barbadians were eligible to vote.
TCI Ministry of Health slow on Quarantine Orders, blocking NIB payments
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – It is unclear how many hundreds of workers registered with the National Insurance Board are impacted, but the slow issuance of Covid-19 Quarantine Orders by the TCI Ministry of Health is hampering distribution and payment of sickness benefits to quarantined residents who are missing work.
Islanders are finding the process for receiving their money obstructed because the National Insurance Board required the government document in order to verifying their quarantine status.
The Ministry has not yet gone digital with the bookkeeping for COVID-19 records and residents have reported that the contact numbers listed by the Ministry of Health do not work.
The NIB has been offering financial remuneration to its beneficiaries since 2020 for days off work due to quarantine amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
An unemployment benefit was also instituted by the NIB to support workers adversely affected in the pandemic.
Ministry of Health has admitted to manpower shortages, but have issued no comment on how it will speed up the process of qualified residents receiving the essential Quarantine Order.
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