Director General of the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), Maureen Thompson, is inviting persons to get registered for the 2021 staging of the National Reading Competition.
Speaking at a virtual launch of the event on April 8, Miss Thompson said that with schooling being done at many homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is another way to grasp the benefits of books.
The Director General said registration for the competition, which is in its 33rd year, can be done at the agency’s islandwide locations and online.
“This is an opportune time for families, friends and communities to participate in the National Reading Competition,” she said, describing the annual event as an exciting and engaging programme that encourages reading habits, “supported by a backdrop of friendly rivalry, community spirit and a host of attractive prizes”.
The Director General told the ceremony that public libraries are open to serve the public with “information resources” and they are offering free digital training and free access to computers and the Internet.
“Parish libraries are open to serve you, and all COVID-19 protocols are strictly enforced,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the JLS, Paul Lalor, lauded the team at the agency for not allowing the “unprecedented times” to impact the staging of the competition.
“We have adapted and found a way to make it happen,” he said, adding that the “constant sponsors” are keeping the event alive.
“This is an excellent platform to read and stay connected,” Mr. Lalor told his audience.
The launch was held under the theme ‘Stay Connected and Read’.
The competition is geared towards encouraging reading habits, development of comprehension skills and literary analysis, cultivation and appreciation of various genres of literature, as well as to foster the continued education of adults.
It is segmented into categories for children six to eight, nine to 11 and 12 to 14 and adults 15 to 20 and 21 years and over.
The event will run until August. During the period, Parish Champions and a National Champion will be crowned.