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Press Releases 2011

Pat the (Great) Cat Belize Literacy Campaign and Book Launch

October 7, 2011

The U.S. Embassy announces the launch of Pat the (Great) Cat, A Jaguar’s Journey on Wednesday, October 12 at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Belize Vinai Thummalapally and Mrs. Barbara Thummalapally. 

The Belize launch follows the enormous success of SHARP Literacy, Inc.’s oversubscribed Pat the (Great) Cat, A Jaguar’s Journey September 26 launch in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   

Many people know little about the jaguar, the only great cat in the Americas.  Enter a group of students from Belize and urban Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These children (ages 9-13), took on the task of creating international awareness through an extraordinary literacy journey that celebrates not only an American great cat, but the importance of joining hands across nations to impact our natural world through education and friendship.

The project, designed by the non-profit organization SHARP Literacy, Inc. presents the true story of a “down-on-his-luck” jaguar to students in Milwaukee and Belize, challenging them to learn more about the jaguar, to discover and then write about its history, its importance to our ecosystems and how to help to ensure that jaguars in the wild have a safe and healthy future. The project excited students and their teachers  by highlighting how this powerful and important animal impacts core subjects of science, conservation, geography, history, ecology, social science, art, and the balance of nature.  

In the beautifully illustrated resulting book, these students describe the compelling world of this very special great cat. Written side-by-side in English and Spanish, Pat the (Great) Cat, A Jaguar’s Journey, tells a wonderful, true story and serves as an ideal educational tool, dedicated to the goal of cooperation between nations to improve literacy.  The book sparks the imagination as a resource to teach the natural history of the Americas, the Maya, geography of our hemisphere, science, ecology and conservation, creative writing, art and beauty, all through the journey of a very special, and very real, jaguar. 

Through this project we hope to help children create pathways to success through literacy just as the Jaguar Corridor Initiative creates pathways to the healthy survival of the American jaguar and all in the forests that depend upon him.  

For more information, please visit the Pat the (Great) Cat, A Jaguar’s Journey website at