Reading Extravaganza 2003 - April 2003
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Reading Extravaganza 2003

In April 2001 we began celebrating Reading Extravaganza – a month of intense activities to highlight public and professional attention to reading, especially early reading, due to its critical importance in setting a foundation for life long success.  The activities are also designed to make reading interesting and fun so that more students will realize the importance of being able to read.

This year the Ministry of Education is again celebrating reading month under the theme Education for all through Reading.  Boys and girls I want you to appreciate and understand that Reading is a basic life skill, a necessary skill that will greatly assist you in your educational development.  It is the corner stone for your success in school and ultimately throughout life.  If you are unable to read well many opportunities for your personal growth and development will inevitably be lost: you may have great difficulty to secure the job or occupation that you desire or you may not be able to realize your dream.

To function well in society demands that you must be literate - you must be able to read and write.  You must also understand the many purposes of reading and writing.  Literacy must be an integral part of your life.

Reading and writing are interrelated.  What you have read can be the starting point for what you may want to write about.  Good writers get their ideas from reading a variety of books and other reading material.  As you read you will learn special ways of putting your thoughts down on paper;  you will use patterns, words and phrases which will help make your writing more exciting and interesting.

Boys and girls I want you to see yourselves as readers; learn to know yourselves as readers; get to know authors, illustrators and styles.  Be conscious of the types of books you like to read and recommend books you have read to other students, your family and friends.  It may also be worthwhile to keep a record of the books you have read along with your personal thoughts on them.

It is sad that sometimes books are not readily accessible to all students and that is why I invite you to become a member of a library.  There you will find a variety of books on all subjects.

I want you to know that the Ministry of Education is very concerned about those of you who are having a hard time learning to read and will do everything possible to ensure that no child is left behind in reading.  No child must leave the education system without acquiring literacy skills.  Your teachers will be introduced to new approaches to teaching the language arts that will help them create classrooms that are far more productive and interesting than ever before.  The use of technology, the creation of local  materials, the establishment of learning resource rooms - these are some measures that will be undertaken to support reading instruction.

Some of the activities for the Reading Extravaganza this year include essay competitions, the creation of a reading logo and others I am told which have become very popular - guest readers, All Night Reading Vigil, Reading to your Community, to the sick and shut-ins, the elderly, etc.   I encourage you to be active participants in the activities which have been planned for you.  I am aware that activities in previous years have been very successful thanks to the dedication of your teachers and parents.  I want on your behalf and that of the Ministry of Education to thank them for their interest and support in the fight to eradicate illiteracy.  Education is everybody’s business and we welcome the connections between home and school.

I hope that all schools have been participating in the activities and have also been inviting the general public to make this year’s extravaganza a resounding success.

Have a successful and productive reading month!!

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