“MyLand” – an adventure into T&T history and culture
Port of Spain, Trinidad, July 11, 2017
Primary school students from 81 schools in the Port of Spain and North Eastern districts are now learning more about their history and culture through a new book titled ‘MyLand: Adventures around Trinidad and Tobago’. bmobile has sponsored the books with each school receiving 2 copies of the interactive and educational book. ‘MyLand’, which is approved by the Ministry of Education, highlights Trinidad and Tobago’s rich culture, history and contemporary life, in a style adapted for young readers, and aims to foster a sense of cultural pride, creativity, and critical thinking in children. Written by local author Natallie Smith, ‘MyLand’ uses the power of play to guide parents, teachers and children on an exciting journey around the country. Each chapter draws on at least one of the nine core subject areas including English Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Citizenship Education.
Smith explained that she got the idea of doing the book from working on school projects with her son, nieces and nephews. “I discovered there isn’t enough educational material on the market that targets the primary school level to teach them about the history of Trinidad and Tobago. I became intrigued with the idea of filling this gap by developing a book which will help the primary school teachers effectively get the syllabus across to their students. Feedback from the principals has been positive and I look forward to more of our children learning about their history in a way that they can appreciate it and remember what they’ve learned.”
bmobile agreed to partner with Smith as this was a fantastic opportunity to excite primary school students about fascinating facts about Trinidad and Tobago. Camille Campbell, TSTT’s VP of Marketing, said, “Reading is the foundation of all formal education and numerous studies have shown that instilling a love of reading in a child from an early age has multiple benefits. We are pleased to be involved in this project which promotes reading and the benefits it brings, along with a love for the stories about the diverse historical and cultural experiences that our country is built on.”
Speaking at a special reading of the book to a Standard 4 class on July 3rd at St. Hilda’s Government Primary School in Port of Spain, one of the schools that received the book, Principal, Sheelah Inniss, said, “We want to ensure that students who pass through St. Hilda’s know about and appreciate their rich culture and history, and this book is an interesting medium for presenting different aspects of Trinidad and Tobago to the children. The style of writing makes it easy for them to understand and there are several activities and pictures that help them and make it quite an interesting read. The book might traditionally be social studies teaching but it incorporates different subject areas in the curriculum which is what we try to do in our teaching.”
Inniss indicated that the books will be used as a library resource so they will be available to the whole school population of 155 and the teachers can borrow them to use in the class room. She added, “We encourage our students to read using various activities such as our weekly reading period after lunch when a different class gets an opportunity for a student to read on the mike to the whole school. This will be a very nice activity to use with this book.”
Kezia Cumberbatch-Fergus, a teacher at St. Hilda’s indicated that ‘MyLand’ is also a good resource for private use at home, “Last term we did a homework project on the first people who came to Trinidad and Tobago and this would have been a good book for our students to use. The size of the book and print are appropriate for their age group and the children really love the activities like word sleuth, dot to dot and the money counting.”
Thanking bmobile, the Ministry of Education and the schools for their support, Smith said, “I would like our children to embrace the book’s title ‘MyLand’, to get excited and feel love and patriotism for our country. I’m extremely grateful that bmobile saw the importance of this initiative and wanted to be a part of it. They immediately responded to our proposal and said yes they were on board.” Inniss also thanked bmobile saying, “It’s really nice to see bmobile supporting the education of our students. We really appreciate having the books at the school.” ‘MyLand’ is available for purchase at all major local book retailers. Additional information can be obtained at http://www.mylandtt.com/.