Book on mangroves donated to primary schools

| 23/02/2018
CNS Local Life

Author Martin Keeley with Catherine Childs of the National Trust

(CNS Local Life):  Cayman Brac writer and author Martin Keeley 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 manager, Keeley explained that the Marvellous Mangroves education programme has been part of the school curriculum since it was first introduced to Cayman in 2001.

“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 programme,” he said, in a National Trust press release.

Childs is responsible for delivering the programmes, sponsored by CUC, to all Year 5 students in Cayman’s public schools every year. “Because Mr Keeley and CUC started this programme almost 20 years ago, we now have an entire generation of young people that understand and appreciate that mangroves are critical for so many things we take for granted – crystal clear water, an abundant fishery, important wildlife habitat, and protection from storms,” she said.

This second edition of Marvellous Mangroves: Myths & Legends is hot off the press and already selling out fast, Keeley noted, adding. “There has been great interest worldwide.” He collected the stories from around the world while introducing his Marvellous Mangroves curriculum to different countries.

“Every country that is home to mangroves 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 wonderful tree,” Keeley said.

“Storytelling is an essential 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?” he asked.

“And what better way to introduce schoolchildren to the wonderful world of mangroves? In addition, of course, is understanding the true value and function of this amazing ecosystem.”

The author said that a French translation of the book is already underway and will be launched this spring. He plans to take along 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,” he said.

The book, whose publication was sponsored by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, is available from the National Trust’s Nature Store, Book Nook, and Books and Books.

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Category: Books, Education, Language

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  1. West bay Premier says:

    The education and the importance of the mangroves. This is a good program that Mr Keeley is doing , quite educational for the kids to learn of the importance of the mangroves . But I have to believe that the Politicians should be the ones that are getting the education also of the importance of the mangroves , because they are the ones who are allowing all the mangroves to be removed from the Islands. Therefore all this good knowledge of the mangroves won’t be any use then when they grow up because all the mangroves would be gone . Same thing can apply to other Countries.

    I think that it’s a shame that the responsible people don’t see the importance that the mangroves play in the ecosystem and just want to continue to clear them out for development .