Encouraging parents and children to read together is the aim of an upcoming territory-wide initiative.
The “Cayman Reads” programme, a first of its kind in the Cayman Islands, launches Tuesday, 10 April. The programme will provide monthly book recommendations for children and teenagers through the end of the year, courtesy of the Cayman Islands Public Library Service and the Ministry of Education.
The selection of books was chosen from two prestigious American book awards: The Caldecott Award and the Newbury Award. The Caldecott medal is awarded annually to the most distinguished picture book for children. The Newbury medal is a literary award given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children. This award has been given since 1922.
Each of the monthly book selections is outlined in a booklet, which will be available in all libraries and on the library system’s Web site. The booklet also provides suggestions of other books by the winning illustrators and authors for parents and children.
Explaining the motivation behind the programme, Director of Public Libraries K.C. Williams said, “I hope the Cayman Reads programme inspires a love of shared reading between parents and children. It is my wish that every child in Cayman reads and shares stories with someone they love.”
The books selected will be available in public libraries and government schools.
Programme supporters The Book Nook and Books & Books will also have the books available for purchase, should people choose to add these works to personal collections.
Minister of Education Rolston Anglin endorsed of the programme and said, “Through this exciting new programme, the Cayman Islands Public Library Service and Ministry of Education are encouraging and helping parents and caregivers to develop a love of reading in the young children and teenagers under their care. If we build a love of reading in children from the time they are very young, it will continue far beyond this stage. A love of books is no less important once children become adolescents.”
The ministry’s chief officer, Mary Rodrigues, said, “As a former English teacher, I have a great love for good literature, and I am aware of the power of a well-written story to kindle curiosity, awaken wonder and engage our emotions. Through the launch of the “Cayman Reads” programme, we will be empowering all parents and caregivers of young children and teenagers to experience this joy of reading” she remarked.
For more information, visit the library system’s Web site at www.cipl.gov.ky