Encouraging parents and children to read together is the aim of an upcoming nationwide initiative called, “Cayman Reads”.
The programme was launched 10 April and 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 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 making it the very first children’s literary award in the world.
Each of the monthly book selections is outlined in a booklet which will be available in all libraries and on the library’s website at www.cipl.gov.ky. The booklet also provides suggestions of other books by the winning illustrators and authors for parents and their children to explore.
The books selected for each month will be available in all public libraries. Government schools will also have copies available in their own school libraries. The Book Nook, as well as Books and Books will also have the books available for purchase should persons want to add these books to their personal collections.
Minister of Education Rolston Anglin gave his full endorsement of the programme.
“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 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.”
Chief Officer in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Mary Rodrigues echoed these words.
“As a former English teacher, I have great love for good literature and I am aware of the power of a well-written story to kindly 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.