From left, David Altshuler; Kalmar Richards, Principal Cedarbridge; Candace Seymour, Cedarbridge Librarian; Joanne Brangman, Head Librarian BNL; Julie Dunstan, The Reading Clinic and Minister Scott. *Photo supplied
From left, David Altshuler; Kalmar Richards, Principal Cedarbridge; Candace Seymour, Cedarbridge Librarian; Joanne Brangman, Head Librarian BNL; Julie Dunstan, The Reading Clinic and Minister Scott. *Photo supplied

Dr. The Hon. E Grant Gibbons, JP,MP, today announced the launch of a new campaign to promote reading and writing on the island through a partnership among Bermuda National Library (BNL), CedarBridge Academy, The Reading Clinic, and the Buechner Society of Bermuda.  The Campaign, called “Read•Write•Bermuda,” builds readers, supports writers and expands libraries, helping to improve literacy and support the island’s literary community.  

“As the community leaders here at CedarBridge Academy, Bermuda National Library, and The Reading Clinic know first-hand, reading is the key to learning and lifelong enjoyment--yet some of our children and families either struggle with literacy or could benefit significantly from access to additional reading materials.  The Read•Write•Bermuda Campaign will address these issues by expanding each partner’s capacity to enhance literacy, and encourage an even greater love of reading and writing in our children and families,” said Minister Gibbons at the launch event at CedarBridge Academy. 

Minister Gibbons announced the first in a series of several major gifts, supported by the Buechner Society of Bermuda that will be rolled out over the course of the Campaign.  Today’s announcement included the following:  

Through a gift of physical and E-books, the BNL will significantly increase its collection, eventually doubling its current collection.  Additionally, a new E-book Centre at the Library, equipped with iPads and Kindles, will provide unprecedented access to the expanded collection as well as to worldwide magazines and newspapers. 

Partners, CedarBridge Academy and The Reading Clinic, also launched E-book Centres equipped with over 100 state-of-the-art iPads and Kindles.  These iPads and Kindles, as E-book readers, will support access to the BNL’s expanded library collection. 

Librarians and reading experts across the partnership will work together to increase library membership and participation among students and to train teachers and tutors on use of the new technology. 

“CedarBridge students will benefit greatly from the new technology and the partnership with both the Library and The Reading Clinic,” said CedarBridge Principal Kalmar Richards.  “Together, we will work to improve Bermuda’s students’ reading skills and increase family literacy.”

Through the Society that bears his name, Buechner convened the partners and is supporting the Campaign as a way to give back to Bermuda, his beloved childhood home.  The Campaign is focused on three areas:  Building Readers, Supporting Writers, and Expanding Libraries with programmes that work across organisations for the benefit of all. 

 Minister R. Wayne Scott, JP, MP said, “On behalf of the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports we are delighted to receive this significant contribution from the Buechner Society that will be used toward expanding the services and books at the Bermuda National Library.  This infusion of new material greatly enhances our ability to reach our goals of increasing child and family literacy while also supporting a new generation of Bermudian writers.”

 Head Librarian Joanne Brangman explained, “The funding from the Buechner Society will allow the Library to significantly increase our collection.  The addition of E-books will help us promote literacy in partnership with Cedarbridge Academy, The Reading Clinic and especially, local novelists.  Theologian Fredrick Buechner shared both a love of literature and a reverence for Bermuda; it is our privilege to be a part of his legacy.”  

“The Reading Clinic team is excited to be part of this innovative collaborative.” said Reading Clinic Director, Dr. Julie Dunstan. “Literacy skills are critical for the success of individuals in our society and for the sustainability of our community as a whole.  By partnering with the Buechner Society, The Bermuda National Library and CedarBridge Academy, we have the unique opportunity to extend our impact to more students on our island.”