Local students flock to library’s literacy competition

Justine Rhule (left), Sarah Harrison (middle) and Xoe Bullings (right) won in the small group category for ages 13-18 for their presentation on Stephen King’s ‘IT.’ – PHOTO: Spencer Fordin

The enthusiasm for reading among Cayman children is spreading like wildfire.

The sixth annual Cayman Islands Information Professionals Storyboard Competition was held this weekend at the George Town Public Library, and it attracted a huge groundswell of support.

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Eighty-five students from at least a half-dozen schools participated this year, and there were 55 storyboards depicting books that local children had read. Last year, there were 49 storyboards from 65 competitors. An estimated 200 people filled the library for the event on Saturday.

Paul Robinson, the acting director and chairman of the Public Library Service, said that the event is a result of a collaboration between the library service, CIIP and Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise.

“These boards are a visual representation of information sharing,” he said. “The children read the book and disseminate information about the book. And they’re marked on the criteria.”

Samruddhi Tagalpallewar, a 16-year-old student at St. Ignatius, said she had been a winner of the event in past years, and she was thrilled to be back and competing with her peers again. Ms. Tagalpallewar did a presentation on the 2015 novel “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon.

“It means so much because the books I read were so good and I wanted to inspire others to also read,” she said. “Every single book explores so much and has so many characters and so many colors to it. I really wanted to spread the message about reading the books and the books that I’ve enjoyed to read.”

Samruddhi Tagalpallewar, a past winner of the event.