'Boys who read will lead'
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Confidently declaring in their stage performance that "boys who read will lead", grade four boys from Richmond Primary School in central Manchester on Thursday walked away champions of a reading competition held here.
They were up against seven other participating schools at the annual Manchester Parish Library's Boys' Reading Day at the library's cultural centre, named after former Mayor Cecil Charlton.
Nazareth Primary School placed second and Porus Primary third.
The event has been taking place for the past six years in an effort to encourage Grade 4 boys to develop a positive attitude to reading and to improve their results in the Grade four Literacy Test.
Director of the Jamaica Library Service in Region 5 (Manchester and St Elizabeth) Lorraine McLean told Jamaica Observer Central that she was particularly proud of Richmond Primary because she has seen their growth from "strength to strength".
Eileen Chantiloupe, a senior teacher at the school, said that the children are of "mixed ability" and the strategy used in teaching is to "meet them where they are".
Currently, students are engaged in storytelling, poetry writing and dramatisation.
With a space being refurbished to house a school library and a resource centre with computers, Chantiloupe expects to see more improvement.
McLean shares the view that the technology will be useful in the teaching process, particularly for boys, and looks forward to the proposed plan of the ministry of science and technology for the distribution of electronic tablets in schools.
In addition to the Jamaica Library Service being the largest provider of free Internet service to the public, she said that the organsiation was also reaching out in many ways, including the National Reading Competition, Children's Hour on Fridays and a homework programme at selected branch libraries in Region 5.
Bellefield Primary, Roses Valley Primary, Mt Olivet Primary, Goshen All-Age and Huntley Primary also gave performances on the day with the Boys' Reading Day theme "Boys who read will lead".
"The presentations are really, really good. I enjoyed them a lot. There are no losers," said one of the judges Doreth Jones.
She told the students that performances could be improved with better pronunciation of words and voice projection.
Sponsorship support for the event was provided by the Central Manchester Constituency Office of Member of Parliament Peter Bunting, Top Loaf Bake Shop, Morrison's Variety Store, and Juici Patties.
Development officer at the constituency office Trishanna Archer said the Jamaica Library Service has a long history of making connections, showcasing love, care and appreciation for communities.
"I say kudos to the visionaries who conceptualised this event as it is a fact that boys who read will lead," she said.
Lorraine McLean said that this year for the first time a Boy's Reading Day event. It was also staged at the St Elizabeth Parish Library and the Christiana Branch Library.