Librarians participating in the workshop.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Twenty librarians and three teachers from primary schools in St. Kitts were engaged in a first-of-its kind, hands-on workshop organized to hone creative activities to satisfy the curiosity of the enthusiastic students.

The training, a component of the 2018 Teachers’ Training Workshop, was held from Aug. 27 to 31 at the Charles A. Halbert Public Library.

The course exposed librarians to new methods and best practices to support the needs of students. With changing times, the Ministry of Education recognizes teacher’s responsibilities are increasing.

It has become very important for teachers to learn and develop skills that not only connect students with the books in their libraries, but also with the valuable learning activities from picture books that can be shared with teachers when covering Language Arts content as well as subjects across the curriculum.

Following the satisfactory completion of the workshop it is obvious the investment in school librarians on St. Kitts is valuable. The workshop taught them how to partner with teachers to make the books and resources in their libraries more accessible for lessons and to students.

Teacher librarians spent time investigating genres beyond basic fiction and non-fiction, like fantasy, mystery, survival/adventure, multi-cultural, historical fiction, realistic fiction.

The workshop’s success was due to the collaboration and donations of the Ministry of Education; Christophe Harbour Foundation; and trainer Jennifer Thrift, Hands Across the Sea; and their trainers Heidi Fagerberg and Hannah Knecht, Dwayne Hector of Preferred Realty, Rachel from Hidden Treasures.

Trainers collaborated with the Charles Halbert Library so attendees could browse the children’s section to find fiction and non-fiction paired texts for their use as mentor texts that can make learning more authentic and integrate books across the curriculum using high interest topics that engage students.

The workshop was developed from Hands Across the Sea’s Teachers Resource Guide, a publication being distributed to schools throughout the Caribbean that is modelled to support the Early Learners Program initiative.