Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean (Peace Corps EC) began its series of stakeholder meetings in Saint Lucia on Thursday, November 7th at the Finance Administrative Centre at Pointe Seraphine. The meeting brought together senior members of the Ministry of Education, along with District Officers, Principals, Teachers, Peace Corps Volunteers and members of the advisory committee, to reflect on the progress of its five-year initiative: The Primary English Literacy Project. The project is a partnership between the Peace Corps EC, the governments of participating islands, which include Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Saint Lucia, USAID and OECS. The goals of the project include: increasing student success, enhancing teaching skills, and improving school, family and community partnerships in support of literacy at the grade 1-3 level. In his welcome address, Director of Programming and Training, Mr. Patrick Triano assured participants that, ‘Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean is prepared to commit its resources to this ongoing effort’.
He gave a short presentation reviewing the results of the project with the participants and invited them to reflect on the data which outlined the successes and challenges of the program. Participants then broke into work groups to examine possible modifications or changes. Associate Peace Corps Director, Ms. Sharmon Jules, noted, ‘The work groups yielded valuable insights that will help guide the focus of Peace Corps efforts in the education sector in the next few years.’ Chief Education Officer, Ms. Fiona Mayers thanked the Peace Corps for its assistance in developing the capacity of Saint Lucia teachers and aiding in student achievement. She expressed the hope that the partnership would continue and projected a favorable forecast for the impact on students.
The Peace Corps is a U.S. government program that has had a presence in the Eastern Caribbean since its inception in 1961. At the heart of its mission is the commitment to development and capacity building and the promotion of world peace and friendship by promoting better intercultural understanding. There are currently 83 volunteers in the Eastern Caribbean, with 31 in Saint Lucia, working in the education sector.