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A second chance for the "Read St. Lucia Challenge" could be in the offing

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Friday, May 06, 2005 - St. Lucia’s Governor General Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy has appealed to St. Lucian students to give a second change to an initiative designed to foster a love for literature and to boost interest in reading. Dame Pearlette is of the view that the “Read St. Lucia Challenge,” which previously involved the entire country, can realize greater success, if it’s tailored toward the nation’s youth.

“The programme is simple,” says Dame Pearlette, “You will be challenged to read a certain number of books, to keep record of what you have read and you receive a reward when you have completed the required number of books. Perhaps you can ask you school teacher or your librarian to try it out with you during Reading Extravaganza Month, and then we will look to implementing it on a wider scale during the course of the year.”

Reading challenges, she says, are held in schools and libraries all over the world generating lots of fun among the students, competing schools and within the business community. “So let us give the Read St. Lucia Challenge another try,” she pleaded.

Underscoring the importance of reading to nation building, the Governor General, herself a well respected educator, having headed the island’s premier tertiary level institution – the Sir Arthur Lewis Community (SALCC) for many years, says the old notion of persons getting by concentrating simple on speaking, listening and viewing skills must be dispelled. “This is only half the battle won, we are severely limiting ourselves and our own ability to grow and develop if we content to have only the basic minimum skills in reading, writing and problem solving. We keep hearing people say over and over again that St. Lucia is not a reading public. This is definitely not the type of reputation that we want to hear and each one of us should pledge to do whatever it takes to prove these critics wrong.”

Hundreds of St. Lucian students will participate in activities throughout the month of May, to mark this year’s Reading Extravaganza under the theme ‘Literacy is the key to personal development and success.’

Spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports and overseen by District Educations Offices and Schools, Reading Extravaganza is into its 5th year locally.

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