MAP’s Education Director, Martin Keeley, has donated copies of his book Marvellous Mangroves Myths & Legends to every Year 5 teacher in the Cayman Islands.
Presenting the books to Catherine Childs, National Trust Education Officer, Mr. Keeley explained that the Marvellous Mangroves education program has been part of the school curriculum since it was first introduced to Cayman in 2001.
|Martin Keeley and Catherine Childs|
“As we enter the eighteenth year of mangrove education in Cayman I felt that it would be great to add yet another dimension to this popular hands-on science education program,” he said.
Ms. Childs is responsible for delivering the program in Cayman’s schools every year to all Year 5 students. The National Trust of the Cayman Islands considers it one of its most valuable learning tools, she says, and is able to continue delivering the program annually thanks to the support of the Caribbean Utilities Corporation (CUC), which has sponsored the program since its initiation.
This second edition of Marvellous Mangroves Myths & Legends is hot off the press and already selling out fast, Mr. Keeley says. “There has been great interest world-wide,” says Mr. Keeley, who collected the stories from around the world while introducing his Marvellous Mangroves curriculum to different countries. “Every country that is home to its mangroves also has both myths and legends that originate from a time when communities depended on the trees for everything from honey to the crabs, fish and shellfish found among this amazing tree.”
Storytelling is an essential part of every culture – witness the Gimistory Festival run every year by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation which sponsored the publication of Marvellous Mangroves Myths & Legends.
“Storytelling is a cultural art form no matter where you find it. Even in today’s instant social media obsession who cannot still remember the stories their parents told them while they were still children?” asks Mr. Keeley. “And what better way to introduce schoolchildren to the wonderful world of mangroves? In addition, of course, to understanding the true value and function of this essential ecosystem.”
Mr. Keeley reports that a French translation of the book is already underway and will be launched this spring. He plans to take copies when his visits French Guyana during his Spring break. “If any Cayman teachers need a different way to help teach French, then I wholeheartedly recommend the French version of Marvellous Mangroves Myths & Legends.”
In Grand Cayman the book is available from the National Trust or from The Book Nook and Books and Books, and on Cayman Brac from The Treasure Chest.