Youngsters rise to reading challenge

Readers between the ages of 6 and 17 logged nearly 37,000 minutes of reading as part of a library summer reading program. 

In all, 45 children took part in the Cayman Islands Public Library challenge, which aims to encourage reading among youngsters during the long days of summer vacation. 

Those who took part received prizes, such as a Kindle Fire and gift certificates. 

“To complete the challenge successfully, the young people had to read at least five books,” said Dothlyn McFarlane, the community branch librarian. 

“Our goal was to motivate children to keep reading throughout the summer months; in the belief that this would strengthen their reading skills and allow them to return to school with increased confidence and excitement,” she said. “My own experience, as the mother of a participant, and that which other parents have shared with us, suggest that we have achieved this.” 

Participants were asked to complete the recommended number of minutes each week for their age group and log their reading time through the reading challenge website. 

This year’s theme was “Survive with a Book” and in keeping with that theme, many books in the reading list were about survival, including The Jungle Book, The Hunger Games and Swiss Family Robinson.  

During the challenge, all public libraries provided access to the Internet and books included on the recommended reading lists for the program. 

The library’s deputy director Paul Robinson and branch librarian Dothlyn McFarlane organized the program, along with sponsors Rotary Sunrise, Baraud Recruitment, Books and Books and Book Nook. 


Roy Bush receives a Kindle Fire from Tasha Ebanks Garcia, deputy chief officer in the Ministry of Education.


Sydni Ebanks receives a gift for the most books read.