Summer readers awarded for efforts

| 02/10/2017
CNS Local LIfe

Top readers and prize winners included (L-R) Dante Thompson, Joshua Hayden, Courdene Thomas, Kadence Miller-Ebanks and Jayson Thomas

(CNS Local Life): About 40 students aged 6 to 17 racked up some 560 hours reading more than 500 books in this year’s Cayman Islands Public Library Service (CIPLS) Summer Reading Challenge. On Saturday, 23 September, a ceremony was held to reward their efforts. Ministry of Education Chief Officer Christen Suckoo took turns with district librarians, presenting top readers and all participants with prizes that included iPads, iPods, games, toys and activity packets.

“It is important that we recognise the efforts of the Public Library Service to get our young people to spend more time reading, an activity that enriches every sphere of their lives,” Suckoo said in a government press release. “In today’s digital world it is equally important that we recognise the efforts of students who are willing to take the time to stop and read a book.

The most prolific readers in each age group were:

  • Age 6-9: Darius Whittaker-Bodden
  • Age 10-14: Courdene Thomas
  • Age 15-17: Dante Thompson

A number of younger bookworms who signed up for the programme were also recognised.

This year’s programme, the sixth one to date, focused on fairy tales and fables. Describing the educational properties of the genre, CIPLS Deputy Director Paul Robinson, who organised the reading challenge, said, “Fairy tales and fables develop children’s imagination and teach them right from wrong. They also teach us how to handle problems by making us think about what would we do in that situation? From this, young people can learn in real life how to overcome adversity and do the right thing.”

To facilitate the process for children and their parents, the Public Library Service posted an introductory booklet on their Facebook page and website. This document included a suggested reading list available from libraries and selected from the chosen genre, as well as a reading log in which students could tally their hours.

The programme ran from early July to 26 August when the participants were required to submit their logs to the Library.

CIPLS Director Ramona Melody expressed her gratitude to the teachers, parents, library staff and sponsors Rotary Central and Maples Fiduciary Services for helping to make the annual event a success each year.

“The importance of reading, and the use of libraries, is crucial in a child’s educational development and the CIPLS is extremely proud to be playing a part in the education equation,” she said.

The Summer Reading Challenge began in 2012 to encourage children to read a minimum number of age-appropriate books, for a minimum number of days and minutes during the summer. Library membership and a reading log were the only other requirements.

The programme, which has been a regular part of the library calendar for some years, aims to combat any regression in young people’s abilities during the long summer break.

At the end of the summer, the library sends a letter to school principals advising them of students who completed the challenge.


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Category: Books, Schools

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