Reading programme features guest

Cayman Islands Public Library Services’ Summer Reading Programme will take on a new twist this summer.

Kwame Alexander, world-renowned educator, literacy trainer and guest lecture will visit the programme from 18-29 July to host a Book-in-a-Day Workshop for young adults.

Mr. Alexander has authored more than 13 books and published more than 100 authors and his expertise is favoured to teach students essential writing techniques and share tips on how to get works published.

The workshop will conclude with a special presentation from recently published local author Stephanie Gunby, who at 14-years-old has written and published a 56-page paperback, The Clever Clouds.

The two-week programme will engage participants in activities including read-a-longs, arts and crafts, and music and dance, between 10am and noon daily. Snacks will be provided, as will free T-shirts at the start of the programme.

Children and teens will also be encouraged to accept the annual reading challenge of reading as many books as possible. Top readers will be rewarded for their efforts with achievement certificates and prizes.

The programme’s final day Friday, 29 July, will be marked by a special reading celebration service at each branch library, as well as the presentation of participatory certificates.

“The addition of the Book-in-a-Day Workshop to the annual summer reading programme is especially exciting,” said Education Minister Rolston Anglin. “It will help to reinforce the literacy skills learned in school, while also demonstrating to participants the importance of excelling in reading.”

He said Ms Bunby becoming a publisher at 14 is a wonderful example of what other young writers can aspire to.

At the workshop, parents can also look forward to a packed programme, filled with the customary slew of free activities for children between the ages of 5 and 14.

This year’s theme, One World, Many Stories, encourages participants to dive into the realm of books and reading, and escape to the many places that stories will take them. But even more importantly, it provides motivation to continue reading during the summer break.

“With the plethora of distractions today, it is increasingly challenging to keep children reading,” said Youth and Reference Librarian Juliet Lawson. “All too often, books are the furthest things from their minds.”

Referencing she also noted, “Children who read during the summer months do much better when school resumes. In contrast, those who fail to read throughout the holiday demonstrate a significant loss in literacy skills.

“The reading programme is accordingly aimed at encouraging all children to continue reading during the lengthy summer vacation,” she said.

For more information on the summer reading programme, visit the nearest community library or call Youth and Reference Librarian Juliet Lawson on 949-5159.

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