JIS News

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, is encouraging parents and guardians to read to children regularly, in a bid to stimulate their interest in books and to discover the joy and pleasure in reading.

“When we start reading at an early age, we develop our brains’ ability to understand and to be creative and imaginative. Reading helps to provide background knowledge on our world and help us to make sense of what we see, hear and read,” she said.

“Reading helps us to develop an understanding of other people’s experiences and cultures and introduces us to new languages. In fact, it is the gateway to countless skills and possibilities and a lifetime of discovery,” the Minister added, as she read to children digitally from her offices in Kingston, to commemorate Read Across Jamaica Day.

Teachers’ Day will be observed in Jamaica on May 5.

She was joined on the digital platform by students and teachers from Jessie Ripoll Primary, St. Aloysius Primary, St. Francis Primary and Infant, Duhaney Park Primary and Hope Valley Experimental Primary School, as well as author Alvin Day.

This year’s staging of the annual interactive event was done online as part of measures to contain and minimise the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mrs. Williams, who read from the book, entitled, ‘This is My House. This is My Home’, said Read Across Jamaica Day is aimed at bringing attention to reading, and encouraged reading among students and all adults in Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Mr. Day encouraged teachers to give of their best and reminded them that they have an important role in shaping the next generation.

In commemoration of Teachers’ Day 2021, Mr. Day gifted teachers with a copy of his book, ‘If Caterpillars Can FlySo Can I: Master the 7 Universal Laws to Achieve and Prosper’, which can be accessed via email, with the Ministry providing further details on how to download the book.

“This book has changed the lives of so many people… . It gives you clues, tips and techniques on how you can achieve your dreams,” Mr. Day said.

“I trust that you keep yourselves safe and you keep yourselves well. Students and teachers, do what is necessary with your masks and your social distancing, but do not abandon yourself; grow and develop and expand,” he said.

The Minister expressed appreciation for the gift to the teachers and noted that the Ministry remains committed to increasing professional and personal development.

Read Across Jamaica Day is an important step in getting children to make reading a regular part of their lives. It seeks to foster interest in reading by encouraging parents and other members of the society to read a book to a child.

This is based on research that shows a connection between adults reading aloud to children and enhanced language development.

A national day to promote reading and literacy locally was first observed by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) in 2005. The day forms part of activities to mark Education Week.

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