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Families who took part in the Summer Reading Challenge 2012

Published 25th September 2012, 10:4am

The summer of 2012 marked a first for the Cayman Islands Public Library Service with the launching of a six-week reading challenge for children designed to keep them reading throughout the summer to maintain and improve reading skills. Incentive for completing the challenge came in the form of a prize drawing with prizes that included Kindle Fires, MP3 players and $25.00 gift certificates. All children who completed the challenge were entered into the drawing and received a certificate of completion and a prize.

The Summer Reading Challenge asked participants to read a minimum number of daily minutes for four days each week as determined by their age level, and to log their daily minutes spent reading on the website.

Participants in Age Group 1 (6 to 9 years) were asked to read 10 minutes a day. Participants in Age Group 2 (10 to 14 years) and Age Group 3 (15 to 17 years) were asked to read 20 minutes a day. To successfully complete the challenge, participants were also required to read a minimum of five books and then record each title along with their thoughts about the book on the website. The challenge brochure included a list of recommended books, but participants could read any book on their current reading level.

Of the 46 children signed up for the reading challenge, 57% were successful in completing all the challenge requirements, reading a combined total of 42,308 minutes during the six week challenge period. A total of $1500 in prizes and prize money was donated in support of the reading challenge. The Cayman Islands Public Library Service would like to thank JAKAB Holdings for the donation of three Kindle Fires; K.C. Williams, Director, Public Libraries and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman for the donation of six MP3 players and eighteen $25.00 gift certificates to local bookstores.

The “Awesome Readers” who completed the Summer Reading Challenge are from:

• Cayman Islands Further Education Centre - Jessenia Whittaker

• Cayman Prep School - Igor Magalhaes, Victor Magalhaes, Marisa Poole,

• Clifton Hunter High School - Jessinah Astwood, Jorden Dixon

• Home Schooled - Erin Bush, Kai Bush, Roy Bush II

• John Gray High School - Zoe Leggatt, Alexander Smith

• Montessori by the Sea - Lucas Carter

• Prospect Primary School - Ajene Davis, Colissa Hill, Arianna Stephenson, Cassidy Varona

• Savannah Primary School - Charlotte Dowell, Tamia McLean, Adesh Seeram

• Sir John A. Cumber Primary School - Mateo Cavallaro, Brandi Conolly, Tiffany Conolly, Amber Ebanks, April Ebanks

• St. Ignatius Catholic School - Madison Kelly, Jorian Neblett

Education Minister, Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, offered his congratulations to the successful participants by saying, “Despite the technical challenges the programme experienced in the beginning, the Summer Reading Challenge was a great success and I am delighted to see so many children take part and complete the reading requirements. Encouraging our children to read is very important and I would like to thank the Public Library Service for providing this programme for our community and instilling the importance of reading in the families that took part”.

Chief Officer Mrs. Mary Rodrigues also offered her praise of the programme by saying, “It is programmes like these that help the Library Service and Ministry reach out to the public and encourage, not only the importance of reading but the importance of reading during the summer when children are not in school. Research has shown that children can lose what reading progress was made during the school year if they don’t read during the summer holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge, as a result, was designed to help encourage summer reading so that our children would maintain or even increase their reading level in preparation for the start of school in September.”

The 2012 Summer Reading Challenge participants and their parents provided direct feedback on the programme by sharing their experiences with the reading challenge. The most common parent comment was the realization that helping their child read every day and then log their time and comments on the website made the challenge a family experience. The Cayman Islands Public Library Service will continue to challenge families to read every summer. Look for the announcement of the 2013 Summer Reading Challenge in May 2013.