Six (6) United States Peace Corps Volunteers have taken the Peace Corps Pledge and will remain on island for the next two years with an aim of increasing literacy in primary school.
The volunteers Anna Hobbs, Mary Knockeart, David Kurtz, Sarah Patridge, Janet Sheetz and Steven Wadler were sworn in at the UWI open Campus Auditorium on Wednesday 20 January 2016.
The volunteers, who arrived on island on August 1 2015, were supposed to have been sworn in earlier but the swearing-in ceremony was postponed as a result of Tropical Storm Erika, brings the total number of Peace Corps volunteers on island to ten.
They will be assigned to the Castle Bruce Primary School, Kelleb Laurent Primary School, Thibaud Primary School, Goodwill Primary School, St John Primary School and Salisbury Primary School.
Associated Peace Corps Director, Ferne Laurent said that from 2014 the focus of the Peace Corp in the Eastern Caribbean has shifted to literacy at the primary school level with special emphasis on increasing literacy in grades one through three.
Laurent said that “through this literacy project the volunteers work alongside teachers to help improve the literacy levels of students, especially those who are struggling”.
According to the United States’ Deputy Chief of Mission, Laura Griesmer, the volunteers assist “by working with teachers on literacy assessments, creative teaching activities in the classroom to engage the students, building libraries, positive management and helping the schools to create or expand their libraries so that children have books to read”.
Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Petter Saint Jean told the volunteers that while they will experience the best of what nature has to offer in Dominica, what is even more important is that they will be able “to interact with students and obtain a unique opportunity to assess their progress as well as the impact of your contribution to their development during your stay here”.
Mr Saint Jean thanked the volunteers for the service that they continue to render to the primary schools on island as their efforts have contributed to the gains in students’ performance.
Since their arrival in August, the volunteers have completed two libraries while two more libraries are in the making.