Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, is encouraging Jamaican students to become active library users as part of their educational journey.
“Now that you’re back at school fully in the face-to-face environment, I want to encourage you to use your libraries at schools and others that exist across Jamaica,” she said.
The Minister was participating in a reading session with students from various Corporate-Area primary-level institutions, at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library on Tuesday (May 3).
The activity was in observance of Read Across Jamaica Day.
Mrs. Williams said that while some persons may view a library as being “old-fashioned”, the facilities in Jamaica are now more modernised with computers and other technology and new programmes, which will be “exciting to children”.
The Minister, who read from the book ‘Little Lion Goes for Gold’ by Kellie Magnus, encouraged active participation by the students, who answered questions and made comments.
Each student was given a chance to sign up to become a member of the library, and the Minister encouraged the youngsters to tell their parents about the facility and how they can also benefit from membership.
Mrs. Williams announced that the Ministry will be embarking on a ‘Fathers Read Too’ campaign beginning Father’s Day June 19, where Jamaican fathers will be encouraged to read to their children for half an hour every day.
“We want all Jamaicans to really get into the habit of reading,” the Minister said.
Director General at the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), Maureen Thompson, noted that the entity is ensuring that its 111 service points across the island have content that supports the prescribed texts from students’ reading lists.
“We want to ensure that you have access to information to assist you in your academic performance at school,” she said.
She noted that members of the public who visit the libraries have the option of bringing their own devices and accessing Wi-Fi or using the designated computers free of charge.
Meanwhile, Ms. Thompson said that entries are being accepted for the National Reading Competition, which is being staged under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation to Read,’ which is in keeping with the ‘Jamaica 60’ theme, ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’.
Read Across Jamaica Day is aimed at making reading a regular part of children’s lives.
The annual activity forms part of ‘Education Week’ activities, which was first observed by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) in 2005.