At a recent event managed by Waterstone’s, Pelican Post supporters bought 120 children’s books for schools in various African countries. Among them were 20 copies of Amina and the Shell, which have now been delivered to the children at Dwabor School in Ghana, shown below. Find out how you can send multicultural books to African schools via Pelican Post.
Equipped with a range of beautiful Tamarind picture books, Verna Wilkins visited Whitefriars School in Harrow. The head teacher Lynne Pritchard requested the visit because she is aware of “the importance of adequately meeting the educational needs of all the children, regardless of their ethnic origin.”
Tamarind books focus on universal themes, making them accessible and engaging resources for use all year round, and not only to be dusted off in Black History Month each October. Verna highlighted the curriculum topics, early socialisation themes, shared experiences and family life in the books. One powerful example, The Silence Seeker is popular because of the interwoven themes of migration, the value of silence, noisy city life and friendship without words. The lyrical writing and stylish illustrations widens its appeal to older children.
With the Tamarind range on board, the teachers felt able to deliver a truly multicultural curriculum. The head teacher was so inspired that she bought 44 Tamarind titles for the school and for her charity Red Earth, which trains teachers in Uganda. Through working with Tamarind, Lynne has become excited and equipped to integrate multicultural books across the curriculum. Lynne’s particularly keen to take The Day Rains Fell to Uganda on her next trip, and to take Verna too!
Verna founded Tamarind to address the issue of inclusion in early years education. Her work with schools over 20 years has shown how much personal value children feel when they see themselves reflected in their learning materials.
It was a sleepy Friday afternoon when Nick from children’s book charity Pelican Post visited our Ealing office. He’d driven across London in weekend traffic, but that was nothing compared to the journey he had in mind: Nick was picking up 10 Tamarind books and starting their journey to a new school in the Sudan! The Pelican Post send donated children’s books to schools in various African countries. They take care to reflect the children in the books that they receive, and include Tamarind titles among the books they send. However, the package for the Sudan would be a special undertaking, off the beated track for the charity. The Grace School, 17 hours by road from Khartoum, is the only secondary school within a 300-mile radius. In poor condition and on the point of closure a few years ago, British couple Richard and Claire Budd fundraised an amazing £90,000 to rebuild the school from scratch. Opening in the first week of May, the school has classrooms and pupils and teachers, but not a single book. The staff at Tamarind were overjoyed to donate the first package of books to the new school. Nick will track its journey by air and road until it reaches the school. Congratulations to all for making this happen!