Education is just too important to have any barriers to access.
Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, O.N., M.P.
Thank you for your interest in helping us tell our story. Sharing our story and celebrating our accomplishments inspires others, informs a wider audience and amplifies the message that every child deserves to have the resources they need to help them succeed.
Selected Media Coverage
Elaine E. Dickson founded Reading Owls International to share her passion for reading with underprivileged children in her native Jamaica.
The books should also act as “mirrors and doors” for children, Dickson said, where kids can see themselves and others in the literature. It’s not just a matter of sifting through piles of books to keep a tally of how many are being sent over, but reading through each of the books to make sure they’re appropriate and enrich a child’s literacy skills.
With far too many Jamaican children reading below their age-group level, Dr Nadine Leachman of the Ministry of Education's Region Five hailed the Reading Owls initiative as a boost for Jamaican schools and the education system.
“Once children learn to read well, they can achieve,” she said.
Reading Owls International (ROI or Reading Owls) was started out of a desire to give back to Jamaica, the country of my birth, in a way that felt tangible and long lasting. My husband Easton and I had been saying for years that we needed to “do something” as the crippling lack of opportunity and resources was still so evident in places we would visit on the island. When we went back to our communities it was often dispiriting as access to books, a public library and basic educational opportunities – which are a basic human right – were still absent.