Programme Manager of DBS Radio, Ivona Jno Baptiste Lugay has announced that a festival may replace the annual reading competition next year.
She made the announcement during the DBS Radio, Ministry of Education National Reading Competition prize-giving ceremony held at the Goodwill Parish Hall on Tuesday.
The competition which was dubbed “successful”, began on May 23, at the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School with a group of 6, in round 1, and at the end, there were 48 amazing and talented boys and girls who read under the theme: “Reading and Culture” paying homage to the late cultural icon Dr. Alwin Bully and not forgetting the brainchild of the competition, Creole Icon Felix Henderson.
The winner of the competition was Kaydie Theodore, a student of the St Martin Primary School. First place went to Kinaya Riviere of the St John’s Primary School, second place Jakida Telemacque of the Wesley Primary School, and third place, Kieran Lander of the Convent Preparatory School.
“We are already brainstorming ideas for next year,” Jno-Baptiste Lugay said. “The plan really is to have a festival moving forward and while no decision has been taken yet to start this next year, I can assure you that going forward we will create an avenue to showcase reading talents and award pupils for their skills and participation.”
Furthermore, she said to stand and give remarks at this prize-giving ceremony is to really sing the praises of an event that has helped to cultivate more than just a habit of reading, “ but I am sure you will agree that it has nurtured a love for reading, not only among the pupils who have participated in various competitions but among parents, schools, communities and by extension a nation.”
She continued, “And I am saying this boldly because the results are plain to see, even if there was no structured survey, we can tell you that this reading competition has been successful from the inception.”
Jno-Baptiste Lugay stated that for the past 13 years, DBS has recognized its agenda to incorporate more reading in society.
“DBS Radio keeps presenting an avenue to showcase reading competence,” she stated.
She went on to state that the goal is to ensure that the young people in society are well aware that reading well, understanding, pronunciation, eye contact, improving focus, memory, communication, and other benefits are critical to their development.
Jno-Baptiste Lugay encouraged parents to work with their children to develop a love for reading.
“Every book you read offers you many opportunities of exploring and learning new ideas. Whether you choose the traditional format or E-books/ modern books, it is obvious that reading has many benefits for us,” she noted.
She added, “And I can say boldly that DBS will continue the reading competition for many years to come.”
The winner of this year’s competition will be given an opportunity to present the 1:15 p.m. news on a day that will be chosen by DBS Radio.
Meanwhile, Representative from the Ministry of Education, David Maxime advises parents to work with their children.
“Support your children, it cannot be left to the school alone,” he said.
According to him, there is no doubt that there is connectivity between parents who have prepared to go the extra mile for their children and the success of their children.
“So, the finalists here today for sure didn’t just get up and find themselves there…,” he stated.
Maxime encourages students that they should not read just for a competition. “Make it part of what you do.”
“Continue to read because that is where the success lies,” Maxime encouraged.
In continuing the legacy of the late Creole Icon, Felix Henderson his daughter, Grace Henderson has written a book of simple Creole words with pictures that young people can enjoy. The books were presented to the finalists.
Dr. Alwin Bully also had a deep passion for reading and his wife Anita Bully presented some of his books to all of the finalists of this year’s competition.
Also, for the very first time, an award was presented in honour of Kheanillia Barrie who died at the age of 13, in May 2023. Barrie was the winner of the DBS Radio Ministry of Education National Reading Competition in 2019.
An award was presented to Caleb George of the Coulibistrie Primary School in her memory.