TUESDAY, 12 SEPT 2023: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – On International Literacy Day, children from nearby special needs schools were invited by the Digicel Foundation to enjoy a morning of storytelling under the trees in the Nelson Mandela Park in St. Clair.
The storytelling event on 8 September marked the formal opening of the new children’s playhouse at the Nelson Mandela Park Play and Fitness Zone by the Mayor of Port of Spain, His Worship Alderman Chinua Alleyne. It was the first official outing of the newly-appointed 38-year-old Mayor.
The Mayor and Councillor Jenneil Frederick, Chairman of The POS City Corporation’s Community, Culture, Sport, and Youth Development Committee, accompanied the Digicel Foundation team on a walk-through of the upgraded park facilities. They then joined Digicel Chairperson, Sacha Thompson, and Digicel Foundation’s Board Members and staff in leading an interactive storytelling experience with hands-on sensory activities for the children.
Mayor Alleyne remarked, “The continued development and growth of our young people and family life is important to the City. This renewed play park is a testament to Digicel Foundation's commitment to continuing to partner with the City in these endeavours for which we are very thankful. I could think of no better way of celebrating International Literacy Day than by reading to children from neighbouring special needs schools. Seeing their bright smiling faces was a perfect start to a Friday.”
The Digicel Foundation’s CEO Penny Gomez echoed this sentiment. She said, “Community parks like this one play such a vital role in society, nurturing both physical and mental well-being for all ages. It’s the ideal spot to come together today to celebrate the power of literacy and share the benefits of reading aloud.”
The Digicel Foundation’s partnership with the Port of Spain City Corporation dates back to 2014 with its first contribution of over one million dollars to supply Nelson Mandela Park with exercise and play equipment. The Foundation has facilitated multiple refurbishments over the years, most recently investing TT$100,000 this year in the play park upgrade and TT$130,000 last year on new play park and exercise equipment for the Fitness Zone.