Dominican author features in Seattle-based literacy programme

Read-a-Rama, a Seattle-based children’s literacy program, will feature Dominican author, Jamie Alleyne, during a virtual storytime on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

In celebration of National Caribbean American Heritage Month, Alleyne will read her debut picture book Why are Onions So Sad to children across the United States and the Caribbean.

Released earlier this year, Why are Onions So Sad is a whimsical tale about little onions, life lessons and the puzzling reason why they make us cry.

Alleyne’s Onions come to life with pencil illustrations by Ray Francis and a layout designed by Damien Bellot.

“We’re happy to showcase Jamie during our storytime,” said Read-a-Rama cofounder Rachelle Washington, educator and literacy activist. “Our goal is to strive to make the US and global places we touch, more literate, one child and one book at a time. Since we know how important it is for all children to be able to see themselves in books and media, we promote the work of authors of color as much as possible.”

The Dominican Health and Education Initiative (DAHEI), shares a common vision and is inviting and supporting student participation throughout Dominica and the Caribbean to the virtual storytime that will be broadcast via Zoom.

DAHEI will purchase and donate 100 copies of Alleyne’s books. Children at the Bright Beginning Center, a preschool in Dominica, and select preschools across the region and US will receive a copy of Alleyne’s book to take home.

In addition, Read-a-Rama will donate books by Black authors to the preschool’s library collection.

“This partnership serves as a bridge between Dominica and the United States,” adds Read-a-Rama cofounder Michelle Martin, the Beverly Cleary Professor for Children and Youth Services at the University of Washington. “Collectively, our goal is to inspire children to read and love books.”

To register for storytime, visit: or visit and click on the “Storytime” link for June programs.

About Jamie Alleyne

Jamie Alleyne is a native of Dominica who lives between St. Lucia and Dominica, primarily. Jamie’s love of island-storytelling enriches understanding of the magic that is Dominica. As a behavior analyst and investment migration specialist, Jamie uses her background to create tourism sites, welcome visitors and investors to the Caribbean. Onions is her first book and represents an appreciation of Jamie’s contribution to lore and homemade love.

About Read-a-Rama

Founded more than a decade ago, Read-a-Rama is a 501(c)(3) that uses children’s and young adult books to engage students to read and live books. Through collaborations with schools, libraries, universities, government and social service agencies, civic and religious organizations Read-a-Rama programs include storytimes, summer camps, and workshops for educators and librarians.

Contact Information:

About Dominican Health and Education Initiative 

Founded by Dominican nationals, Ann-Marie La Ronde-Richard, Ph.D., and Farrah La Ronde-Hutchison, Environmental Scientist, the Dominican Health and Education Initiative seeks to elevate the health and education standards on the island of  Dominica by improving medical training and technology and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to obtain an education.

For more information on DAHEI, visit

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  1. Royal
    June 25, 2020

    Congratulations Miss Alleyne!

  2. Goodwill
    June 25, 2020

    Also Congrats to Ray Francis! Illustrations are essential for children’s books. Keep up the good work

  3. Goodwill
    June 25, 2020

    CONGRATS Jamie and congrats Damien! Two very creative Dominicans ! Keep the good work coming.

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