Ophelia Powell Torres took St. John children back in time as she read from her book, “Caribbean Poetry, Folktales and Short Stories” at the first Elaine I. Sprauve Library after school program of the school year on Wednesday afternoon, October 10.
The program, hosted by V.I. National Park Interpretive Ranger Pat Dinisio, is open to children of any age and will continue to run through the school year.
Torres will read to children at the after school program several times throughout the year.
“My book reflects cultural issues, and I’m going to talk to the kids about it so they can know what happened a long time ago,” said Torres. “I hope they learn a little bit about the old culture, and appreciate it and get hungry to know about it.”
Torres hopes her involvement in the after school program will encourage the children to want to read, she explained.
“I want to get them enthusiastic about reading,” said Torres. “That’s how you gain knowledge — by becoming a good reader.”
In addition to listening to Torres read from her book, the children will interact with nature, explained Dinisio.
“We’ve got journals we’ll give the kids, and we’re going to work with digital cameras to put photos in the journals,” said Dinisio. “We’re going to do the Lind Point Trail and learn about the environment and natural resources.”
The program is branching out from its origin as a reading program. Dinisio, who is involved with the program for the second year in a row, hopes to teach kids about the environment surrounding them.
“I like for kids to be more exposed to the local environment,” she said. “It’s amazing how many of them don’t know about the trees here, and a lot of the kids are new on island. My main focus is the environment.”
The program needs more digital cameras for the children to use. Money or cameras can be donated at the Elaine I. Sprauve Library.
The group meets every Wednesday at the library from 3 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Sprauve Librarian Carol McGuinness at 776-6359.
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