Parents Challenged to Exchange the Bytes for the Books

(EMU) – St. Kitts, April 17, 2013: Parents in St. Kitts are being challenged to take a look at what consumes their children’s time, in an effort to raise awareness of the impact of the overuse of video games, television and other electronic devices on their ability to read.

The Ministry of Education gave its full support to an event that kept over eighty students engaged during the first week of the Easter break. The children were involved in activities that would stimulate their reading appetites and heighten their abilities.

Principal at Sandy Point Primary, Mrs. Jennifer Dolphin, remarked that a study in the United States revealed that on average students were only reading seven to eight minutes per day and their struggling counterparts were reading even less. The general view is that the same pattern obtains in the Federation.

When Ms Nicole Francis approached the Ministry of Education with the idea, the Ministry jumped at the opportunity to make it a reality. Also, several teachers from the Sandy Point Primary School volunteered their first week of vacation to assist in the worthwhile venture.

The reading project soon became a multi-sectoral event as pastors came on board to assist daily with the spiritual aspect of the Camp and utilized even this avenue to develop the children’s reading abilities. Kristen Hendrickson, Youth Empowerment Officer and Mr Darryl Lloyd, Education Officer, were at the fore front of planning the event with Ms. Francis.

The featured speaker for the closing ceremony, Hon. Sean Richards, urged students to think about the benefits of reading including having the ability to read signs when travelling abroad, completing application forms and communicating effectively.

In his remarks, Education Officer Mr Lloyd, reminded students that reading improves vocabulary, assists in brain development, reduces stress, builds self esteem and stimulates the imagination.

Parents present at the closing ceremony were given an opportunity to experience the types of items their children created as a result of the reading skills learnt during the week. They were also challenged to be more actively involved in enforcing reading policies in the homes and reducing the time their children spent on video games and other activities which tend to inhibit academic growth in the name of entertainment. They were further reminded that example is the greatest teacher. The theme of the camp was ‘Let the Book Bugs Bite’.

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