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HomeNewsArchivesSpecial Gift Helping to Make V.I. Seventh-Graders 'Wordly Wise'

Special Gift Helping to Make V.I. Seventh-Graders 'Wordly Wise'

Feb. 28, 2007 — More than 40 seventh-graders from Addelita Cancryn Junior High proudly held up their new thesauruses Wednesday morning in the classroom of teacher Wendy Diaz.
The new books were a gift from the Margate Friends of the Children Fund, a permanent fund at the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.
“Today, we are lucky to have something momentous happen,” assistant principal Selassie Francis told the children. “People understand you by the words you use, and today you are privileged to receive a new kind of dictionary to help you — and you get to receive it directly from the donor. It is an honor, and we are most appreciative.”
Francis welcomed the donors and guests, who included Lara Halliday with the Margate Fund, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) President Dee Baecher-Brown and CFVI Director of Operations and Programs Doris Pomeranz.
Also in attendance was Coordinator of Library Services Nancy Christie, who told students, “The more you read and write, the better you make our community. Just like a carpenter uses tools like a hammer, students can use a dictionary and a thesaurus. They are tools that will help you to learn and to read and write better.”
This is the fourth annual donation of thesauruses to students in the territory's public schools. To date, more than 7,500 students have received books from the fund, which was established by Margate Management in 2002.
This year the foundation will distribute more than 1,800 thesauruses to all seventh-grade students on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. Helping to coordinate the distribution is Juel Anderson, Public Relations Director for the Department of Education.
As she helped to pass the books out, Halliday said, “There are so many great words out there, and here is a tool, a book to help you express yourselves to the world. So use it, have fun with it and have fun learning to express yourself. It is all yours.”
Seventh-graders Natasha Norman and Keri Sebastien thanked the donors and accepted the books on behalf of their classmates.
The thesaurus project is committed to the annual donation and distribution of a thesaurus to every seventh-grade student in the V.I. public school system. According to Baecher-Brown, “A thesaurus is a valuable tool that can help the seventh grade student expand his or her vocabulary knowledge and gain a better understanding of word relationships as they prepare for high school and beyond.”
After visiting Addelita Cancryn, Halliday was off to Red Hook to catch the ferry for St. John, where she repeated the presentation to a different group of students.
Established in 1990 to serve the children and families of the Virgin Islands, the Community Foundation last year provided more than $1.25 million in grants, scholarships and program support in the territory.
For more information, call the foundation at 774-6031.
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