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JIS News

Fifty-two parish champions vying for honours in the 2005 National Reading Competition will be recognized for their efforts and receive awards at the annual luncheon hosted by the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) tomorrow (August 30).
These awards will be in the age categories six to eight, nine to11, 12 to 14 and adult. Participants will receive their awards then go on to compete in the National Quiz Finals, which will be televised on Television Jamaica (TVJ) on Saturday September 3 at 10:30 a.m..
Director of the Public Library Network, Janet Cousins told JIS News, that the awards would be given based on the successes of the participants at the individual parish level.
“They are called in to be given their prizes for having succeeded at the parish level and to check them as they compete in the national competition,” she informed.
The primary aim of the competition is to encourage Jamaicans to develop the habit of reading, to develop skills in reading, foster an interest in and for good literature, hone comprehension skills, literary analysis and criticism. In addition the competition also seeks to cultivate an interest in libraries and information as well as promote an interest in life-long learning.
Reading competitions were staged at various service points including branch libraries, the mobile stops and the institutional service spots. “It is after all that has been completed that the person goes on to compete at the national level,” she said. “After the scores from the written test and the oral competitions are tallied, a national winner is chosen,” she noted.
Miss Cousins pointed out that interest in the reading competition and its importance has been growing over the years and has now become one of the stellar events on the calender of the Jamaica Library Service.
She said since the reading competition was introduced in 1988 “it has been having a noticeable impact on reading levels and is responsible for at least some of the renewed interest in reading nationally”.
It has also sparked renewed interest in the use of libraries and information resource centres. Already inquiries are being received from interested persons about next year’s competition and Miss Cousins said, “this was a welcome change”. She pointed out however, that to compete, a prospective participant must be a registered member of the JLS.
To become a registered member is an easy process. “Just go in to your nearest library outlet or bookmobile, indicate to the librarian your interest and you will be registered,” she explained.
Prizes will include hotel accommodation, books, trophies, and trips to overseas destinations. Major sponsors of the competition include Cable & Wireless Jamaica Foundation, TVJ and Kingston Bookshop, with support from the Gleaner, Jamaica National Building Society, Horlicks, Carlong Publishers, RBTT Bank, LMH Publishing and Hilton Kingston Jamaica.