There is a perception that young people do not read enough books or newspapers. They are trying to change that perception at John Gray High school and one of the aids being used is The Observer On Sunday. Every Thursday morning the pupils in year groups 10DH and 11TS receive their copy of the Observer on Sunday from the previous week and for the 14 and 15 year olds, it becomes the subject matter for their Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading period. It is always a valuable experience to hear readers ‘views on what interests them and unusual to have so many readers in the one place at the one time, so The Observer on Sunday joined the two groups at school to gauge what some of our youngest readers thought about the Observer. And the pupils did have clear opinions on what they found interesting. Some preferred to read stories from outside Cayman about what was happening in the rest of the world. Others thought the local element was more important.
What did come out is that young people are the same as anyone else, they are interested in stories that reflect or affect their lives.
A recent story about the culture of gangs in Cayman was mentioned as a story that particularly resonated with them. Young people also have genuine concerns about the environment, it was mentioned that they would like to see more stories about the environment and going green.
Talking about going green, the Observer on Sunday’s life does not end in the USSR period. It is used by the History classes as source material to teach history as it is happening. In the Life skills classes as well as being used as a resource, it has also been used as material for building structures!