JIS News

The St. Thomas Parish Reading Champions, in the 17th staging of the Jamaica Library Service’s National Reading Competition, were showcased in a motorcade and prize giving ceremony held at the Rudolf Elder Park in Morant Bay on Friday (August 12).
They are Karen Jacques in the six to eight age group; Kadane Coates in the nine to 11 age group and Janeil Beckford in the 12 to14 age group. For their efforts the participants were presented with gift baskets containing books and stationery.
Speaking at the prize giving function Maureen Thompson, Senior Librarian at the St. Thomas Parish Library highlighted the objectives of the competition which include an encouragement of reading among children; a development of reading skills; the cultivation of an appreciation of books, and the fostering of continued education in children.
“We have noticed that children are not making full use of the library service and so this is an innovative idea by the Jamaica Library Service to foster the habit of reading. It also enables an exposure to build self-confidence, create in the children a zest for achievement and a life-long love for reading, “she said.
The National Reading Competition was initiated in 1988 for children between the ages of six to eight, but since 1989 has been open to children nine to 11 and 12 to 14 years.
The competition is first staged at the branch and parish libraries where participants vie for the top three positions. It includes tests at each stage with a mix of oral and written exercises, which test the child’s ability to read, understand, and interpret specifically set books. The parish champions emerge when all the scores are tallied.
These champions will then compete in the national finals on September 3 at the studios of TVJ. The National Reading Competition is sponsored this year by the Gleaner Company, Jamaica National Building Society, Hilton Kingston Hotel, RBTT Bank Jamaica Limited, Horlicks, Carlong Publishers, LMH Publishing Company with the major sponsors Cable and Wireless Jamaica Foundation, TVJ, and Kingston Bookshop.