Local Shooting Association Takes Aim at Improving Literacy

The year started off with a bang for local tutoring centre I READ FOR LIFE (IRFL) when the membership of the Cayman Islands Sport Shooting Association (CISSA) presented the organization with a cheque for CI$2,375 towards its scholarship fund.

For the past two years CISSA has taken a greater initiative to contribute to causes within the community including toy drives and fundraising events for those with health concerns. To end 2015, the association decided to take their efforts further by donating to a cause that would have a lasting and meaningful impact on the lives of the children in the community. As such, the association held a fundraiser during its annual Christmas social whereby CISSA members made private donations to the scholarship fund.

The IRFL scholarship fund assists families with children that need help with reading but cannot completely afford the services on their own. The reading method used at IRFL was developed by Speech & Language Pathologist, Vinnette Glidden, and has been privately taught within the Islands for over 20 years. The method steps away from traditional reading programs by breaking down the English language into 44 sounds and then focusing primarily on the combination of letters (“letter symbols”) that make each of the sounds. Lessons are reinforced with games, songs, videos and workbook activities.

After presenting the funds, CISSA representatives were given an in-depth explanation of the reading program and a tour of the IRFL facilities in the Barnett Building on Huldah Ave in George Town.

Mrs. Glidden addressed the importance of literacy as well as her passion for helping children, stating that, “statics have shown that 42.6% of year 6 primary students are reading below expectations and of those, 17.7% were reading three or more years below expectation. If you can’t read by fourth grade, and can’t afford to get help, chances are that you will head down the wrong path. On that basis, I am very happy that CISSA is making this contribution towards improving the literacy of our children.”

During the presentation it was noted that in 2014, IRFL itself provided CI $62,000 worth of unfunded services to children whose families could not afford the help they needed. This was in addition to donations made by individuals and businesses in the community.

CISSA President, Eddie McLean, commended Mrs. Glidden and the IRFL team for their work, commenting that he “only wished the cheque was for a larger amount so that more children could benefit from this program.”

To learn more about IRFL please visit their website at www.ireadforlife.ky

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