In an effort to promote cultural exchange between the two countries, as well as help Taiwan promote English learning and reading, the ambassador from Saint Kitts and Nevis, H. E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins donated books to NCL on June 30. An oral reading performance was also arranged and done by Ambassador Huggins. For this event, NCL invited many to come to witness this exchange and sharing activity, including elementary and middle school teachers and university professors that teach and promote English reading, besides, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture, and Ministry of Education. This event had the attendance of the following dignitaries: Her Excellency Ambassador Jasmine Huggins from the Embassy of Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Her Excellency Ambassador Andrea Clare Bowman from the Embassy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Her Excellency Ambassador Candice Augusta Pitts from the Embassy of Belize, Vice Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bureau Director George Chiou from the Office of the President (former Ambassador to Saint Christopher and Nevis), Director General Tom Lee from the Department of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (former Ambassador to Saint Christopher and Nevis), Director Achilles Yeh from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Eswatini, Director- General Yu-Chuan Lee from the Department of Lifelong Education in the Ministry of Education, Deputy Director- General Ms. Shu-Jung Chen from the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Deputy Education Counselor Kao- Hsien Liao from the Department of International and Cross-strait Education in the Ministry of Education.
The five donated books from the Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis by Ambassador Jasmine Huggins include books suitable for young children, for middle school students, and for adults. There are two books by Carol Ottley-Mitchell, one with Saint Christopher’s Carnival custom as background, The Masquerade Dance, which is suitable for young children or beginning English learners, another one is an adventure story with the UNESCO designated World Heritage Site— Brimstone Hill as background, Adventure at Brimstone Hill. The three books for adults were written by a famous author Caryl Phillips. The books Crossing the River and The Final Passage are stories about the hard life of black people who left their African homeland. Another novel, A Distant Shore, which was selected as the Best Book of the Year, centers at the issues of individual and national identity. These books are indeed very helpful in the education of English learning and racial history of humankind, and advocate for the respect of all peoples. The NCL cherishes this special book donation, and, in the coming two months, will display these books at the “Saint Kitts and Nevis Corner” to increase awareness of these books.
NCL Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng said of this donation that in terms of future efforts to promote cultural and educational exchange, it is significant as an important indicator of tangible exchange. To promote these good books and to help teachers use them more in English reading education, NCL invited many English teachers come to learn in person. NCL invited Professor Chao-jen Chen, the project manager for the National Reading Education Program of the Ministry of Education, and Professor Chiu-hui Chou, who has been helping NCL in carrying out the English Teaching Program for Remoted Schools. As the NCL collaborates with Lam Research Company to offer books and on-site teaching for remote schools, NCL will include these donated titles in the purchasing list for remote schools, in addition, will make these titles target resources when NCL recruit teachers to produce Online English Learning courses, so that teachers can implement them into their projects and curricula.
H. E. Ambassador Huggins stated that through sharing works by authors from Saint Kitts and Nevis, the distance between the people of both countries is lessened. She emphasized that her country is a formal ally of Taiwan, and as such she hopes that through sharing the stories written about her country that elementary and secondary schools, and even universities in Taiwan will be able to enjoy more English literature. This event showcases a small taste of what she envisions. H. E. Ambassador Huggins wishes that through this action to help the Republic of China’s government to continue pushing toward its goal of creating a dual language country and to help achieve its 2030 goal of increased English proficiency. H. E. Ambassador Huggins also made special arrangements for a performance called “Reading is fun; books come alive,” wherein the ambassador and two children read aloud the book Masquerade Dance. After that, three performers from Saint Kitts and Nevis favored attendees with a traditional drum dance, infusing the hall with the passionate feelings of the Caribbean.
During the various speeches given, a common theme was the acknowledgement of how this donation by our ally helps in Taiwan becoming a dual language country and the significance of this cultural exchange. The ceremony came to a wonderful ending with a series of group photos of those in attendance.