Library Easter Programme explores the fun of reading

Female participant engrossed in a book

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 20, 2011 (SKNIS): Twenty-eight children are presently experiencing the joy of reading thanks to the Charles A Halbert Public Library’s Annual Easter Reading Programme.

The two-week reading exercise runs from April 11 to 21, with daily sessions from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is designed to get children hooked on books, by encouraging them to become excited about reading, which in turn should stimulate the development of good reading habits.

Assistant Librarian Mrs. Carmen Blanchard-Browne informed the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that the participants are divided into Juniors with an age range of seven to nine, and Seniors who are 10 to 12 years old. Each group is asked to select five books from a book collection suitable for their age. The first book has to be returned the second day, at which time the reader has to answer a series of questions to demonstrate not only that it was read but also understood.

A section of Library Reading Programme participants

The children taking part in the Programme have expressed delight with reading. Abion Stevens said that while reading is fun, it also allows one to use imagination and go to worlds that have never been seen before. On the other hand, Mickail Powell revealed that in his home he had a desk filled with books that he anticipates going to, every day, after returning from school. The learning aspect was emphasized by Kyler Sutton who said reading helped him to learn languages and other skills. He encouraged others to take part in this fun and educational pastime.

In expressing the importance of reading, Mrs. Blanchard-Browne explained that it is knowledge that can be reviewed and renewed again and again until it is fully and securely learned.

“The act of reading helps in every act of life,” the Assistant Librarian emphasized. “Those that read have higher GPA’s [grade point average], higher intelligence and general knowledge than those who don’t.”

A section of Library Reading Programme participants

Assistant Librarian Blanchard-Browne explained that her institution is collaborating with the Ministry of Education whose main focus this year is literacy and numeracy. She elaborated that out of this partnership came the initiative “Let’s RAP,” the latter part of the phrase being the acronym for “Reading As a Pastime.” As such, all schools in the Federation were invited to undertake activities to encourage children to read in their leisure time. The events will take place over the course of a year, culminating with a street parade in March 2012.

Other Reading Programme participants, including Jamie Francis Jr., enthused that reading is good for the brain and makes one smarter and exposes readers to new words used in the proper context. Likewise, Breanna Rogers addressed the introduction to new vocabulary and improved writing skills that can be of benefit in school. She also noted that the cost of books should not limit one’s reading because they are available free of cost at the library. Shanelia Francis stressed that reading enables one to learn about other countries and cultures.

Persons interested in taking advantage of the Charles A. Halbert Public Library’s reading and research services can visit its Cunningham Street, Basseterre location from Monday to Thursday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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