USNORTHCOM donates $10,000 to Bahamas Read to Lead program

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | October 18, 2010

NASSAU, The Bahamas – U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas Nicole A. Avant donated $10,000 in books to the Ministry of Education Oct. 5 to support the United States Embassy-initiated "Read To Lead" program.

Funding for the book donation was provided by the U.S. Northern Command as part of its long-standing partnership with the island nation.



"Read To Lead" is a nationwide reading and mentoring program for students in grades 4-6. This donation complements the Sept. 9 donation of more than $6,000 in school supplies to Woodcock Primary School which was also funded by USNORTHCOM.

The program began in Woodcock Primary School in 2005 as an informal reading with U.S. Embassy Nassau volunteers. In 2008, the Ministry of Education used the Woodcock program as a model for a nation-wide reading and mentoring initiative that has now been established in public primary schools in New Providence and many schools in the Family Islands. In her remarks, Avant thanked USNORTHCOM for its generous support, recognized Ministry of Education officials for their leadership, and applauded all "Read to Lead" volunteers for inspiring the children of The Bahamas to dream more, learn more and become more.

"I am extremely pleased that the U.S. Embassy is expanding our support to the Ministry of Education's Read to Lead Program with today's donation of $10,000 worth of books," Avant said. "These reading materials will be used in 4th, 5th and 6th grade classrooms in public primary schools across The Bahamas to help develop a love for reading and the drive to succeed."

Deputy Assistant Secretary Julissa Reynoso added that she was pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the book donation in support of the nationwide reading initiative.

"This partnership between the U.S. Embassy, USNORTHCOM and the Bahamian government is just one example of the United States' longstanding commitment to supporting Bahamian driven efforts aimed at strengthening communities," she said.