Jamaica Library Service Hosts Annual National Reading Fair to Highlight African Heritage


The Jamaica Library Service (JLS) will host its annual National Reading Fair on Saturday, October 13 under the theme: “Read A Line, Open Your Mind: Remembering Our Roots.” The Reading Fair is being staged in recognition of the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans.
Speaking with JIS News, Director General of the JLS, Patricia Roberts explained that emphasis will be placed on highlighting different aspects of Jamaica’s African heritage.
“We are going to be looking at things that are directly and indirectly related to our African heritage and specifically the good things that we have taken with us,” she noted.
The Fair will be held at the East Lawns of the Devon House heritage site in St. Andrew, and is scheduled to take place from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The day’s activities will begin with a motorcade where spectators will have an opportunity to see the national champions, as well as the parish finalists in the 2007 National Reading Competition. The motorcade will also include marching bands and floats. “This will be one fabulous event which will start at the Police Officers’ Club on Hope Road at approximately 11:00 a.m. going along Hope Road on to Waterloo Road, then West King’s House Road on to Constant Spring Road via the plaza, Mandela Park and ending at Devon House,” Mrs. Roberts outlined.
The fair will be officially opened by Minster of Education, Andrew Holness and will include story telling; exhibitions by the JLS and a number of other participants including the Jamaica Information Service; face painting, Jonkonnu, poetry reading and performances by the Machioneal Culture group.
“We will also have live reading by persons such as Kelly Magnus, Nelado Taylor White, Yasus Afari and Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Henry,” she added.
The day’s activities will culminate with a live concert involving a number of Digicel Rising Star contestants.
The National Reading Fair is an extension of the National Reading Competition. The Jamaica Library Service launched the National Reading Competition in 1988 and the JLS head said it has been a very successful initiative.
“The last four years, we felt that we wanted to add another dimension to the reading competition. There were a number of other fairs in Jamaica and we felt it was very timely for us to celebrate reading in a way that would not be considered the norm,” Mrs. Roberts said.
She explained that the reading fair is geared towards showcasing the champions of the National Reading Competition as well as celebrating reading; with an expos

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