(EMU) – St. Kitts, September 27, 2016: Courts Ltd. and the Federal Ministry of Education in St. Kitts and Nevis have officially launched the National Courts Reading Competition on Monday; in anticipation of the Regional Competition to be held in the Federation this year following the victory by Hrishikesh Srinivasan of Maude Cross Comprehensive in Nevis. The final was held in Dominica last year.
According to Reading Coordinator at the Curriculum Development Unit, Ms. Jacqueline Bassue, the event is anticipated by November this year and is expected to gain steady momentum over the coming weeks.
Commenting on the success of the reading competition and its impact on children, Bassue said, “It showcases the bright minds and excellent readers who will prove to be true ambassadors for the Federation and Caribbean region. They will demonstrate that good reading will always be rewarded and is a free ticket to any part of the world.”
In reflecting on his participation and victory Hrishikesh called on students present at the launch to “practise, practise, practise. At the competition If felt very nervous and anxious. I was scared but as I got into the stage I felt completely normal. When I heard my name as winner. I was speechless. I just felt so happy inside.”
Courts representative, Commercial Officer, Shanola Murray Gill, described the attractive prizes Hrishikesh walked away with having won the competition. “I can see why these students get so excited because these prizes are really good. “He took home $5000 dollars; an additional $5000 for his school, a laptop and Digicel smart phone among other things. After five years, he returned the championship trophy to the Federation.”
Reflecting on Courts’ objective to raise reading awareness and ability in children, Mrs Gill added that the prestigious competition assesses elements such as tone; audibility; fluency; accuracy; expression; confidence; eye contact and more.
“You can really see the animation and determination in these kids while performing to win, also the proudness of parents and teachers as students unfold the dynamic result as a consequence of hard work and diligence instilled by parents and teachers.”
Permanent Secretary of Education, Mr. William Vincent Hodge, himself and reading enthusiast who champions the cause of reading, revealed that he had implemented a reading programme while in the United States dubbed “100 Days of Reading” that encouraged students to read for 100 days including weekends and holidays. Referring to the programme’s success in promoting reading among students, Mr. Hodge said he hoped to be able to introduce it to schools here as well.
Mr. Hodge thanked Mrs Gill for Courts’ partnership with the Ministry of Education over the years, “We want to continue to build a partnership of learning,” Hodge said.
Senior Education Officer, Mrs Debbie Isaac, who has coordinated the programme locally over the past four years, gave an overview of the Courts reading competition. She revealed that it starts with zonal competitions locally continuing with the semi-final or national competition. The emerging winner would represent the Federation at the Regional Championship.
The event, which was first held in 2009, comprises two segments in which participants (8-9 year olds) are required to read a narrative followed by a news item.
Participating countries are Antigua and Barbuda; St Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis.