The first week of the New Year opened on a high note as the Maria Holder Nursery School in Sharon, St. Thomas welcomed members of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust to their School on Thursday 9 January, 2014.
Christopher Holder, one of the Founders of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust was delighted to present to Mrs. Shelley Boyce, Principal, Teachers and especially the students of the School a donation of books which covers all the literary needs of Nursery School students.
As this School was constructed in memory of the late Maria Holder and is the first of seven Nursery Schools to be built, it is fitting that its literary needs are met by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust. One of the most important lessons which were imparted by Maria Holder to her son Christopher Holder was the importance of education. Christopher Holder explained that it was his Mother’s wish to “assist within the educational sector, especially at the important early stages of a child’s schooling, since without education you have nothing”. He added: “This donation of books covers all the foundational topics needed by the school and will provide a comprehensive start to their library, thus ensuring that the school has the tools needed to assist with the educational development of its students.”
The first steps for any child starts with literacy. Reading is the single most important skill necessary for a happy, productive and successful life. A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child and has a high level of self-esteem as reading provides the basis for a strong educational foundation.
The Maria Holder Memorial Trust has and continues to partner with the Government of Barbados to fulfil its mandate that all children of Nursery School age should have access to Early Childhood Education. The other Nursery Schools are to be built strategically around the island to ensure maximum coverage of all areas.
Christopher Holder has stated that he and other Trustees and employees of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust are looking forward to reading to the Children of the Maria Holder Nursery School at their weekly reading club.
Principal of the Maria Holder Nursery School, Mrs. Shelley Boyce expressed sincere thanks and appreciation for the generous donation of books. She stated that the donation provided a significant boost to the Reading programme of the school. Mrs. Boyce commented that the books which were all hard cover were of a very high quality, reader friendly, rich in colour and were expected to stand the test of time. Another impressive feature of the book collection was that the topics facilitated whole child development and encouraged the children to acquire and practice good social and emotional skills. These texts would further complement and strengthen the Health and Family Life Education Programme, which promotes team building and the development of positive relationships among peers.
Some short term improvements to the library may include the erecting of shelves, and additional child sized furniture, enhanced soft areas and the inclusion of resources such as a Language Master and other relevant technologies.
Finally, Principal Mrs. Shelley Boyce said that the school will seek the advice and expertise of the personnel of the National Library Service of Barbados to develop a course of training for the teachers and volunteers regarding the care and maintenance of a library, its books and resources.
The future looks bright for the students of the Maria Holder Nursery School as they eagerly anticipate the specially planned reading sessions with the Trustees and personnel of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, parents and guardians including the story tellers of the National Library Service of Barbados. It is expected that the Reading Programme will go from strength to strength and that this model could be duplicate for future Early Childhood Institutions.