Reading day at Newtown Primary to target literacy problem

Students Newtown Primary School students during break time. Photo credit:

Head of the Newtown Primary School Jerry Coipel says the school is placing extra focus on bettering the response of students to reading.

“This is a concern for the staff; hence, a whole program of activities to improve literacy in general at the school,” Coipel stated, disclosing that the boys are lagging behind the most.

“Our results at the national assessment show that our boys are performing way below national averages. The concern is particularly with the boys, and that’s why we’re doing a whole program now to address the reading deficiencies among our boys,” he said.

The Newtown Primary held a day of reading Friday in observance of ‘World Book Day’, just one of the initiatives to address the reading problem. The school invited radio personalities, and persons of other professions to read to various classes, as a means to greater stimulate students’ interest in reading. Coipel described the activity as a meaningful one.

The school comprises 259 students: 169 are boys; 90 are girls.

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  1. Maggiedumpling
    March 8, 2010

    Congratulations Mr. Copiel on your brillant initiative. In addition to the other great ideas my humble suggetion is that you have a Parents Night. Where all of the parents are invited to listen to their children read, poetry etc. As a child I never had any toys (my parents could not afford), however, my semi-literate mother insisted that I read. She would say, “…….read until you blue, reading never killed any body yet.” Then to add to the mystery of my thirst for reading, once a month when she went to Roseau she would ask me what country I wanted to travel to and whatever country I chose she would go to Mr. CeeBee, tell him my age and ask for a book about that country and purchase it for me.

    I thank God for my mother who instilled a love of reading in me when I was young. It has and continue to pay dividends in my life and I have tried to pass this along to many young people.

    God bless you and your staff, you may not see the results today or even tomorrow, nonetheless you a planting a good seed that will reap great rewards in the future. Your labor of love is not in vain.

    March 8, 2010

    WELL DONE MR JERRY COIPEL YOU continue to serve the youths of this nation in a heartical, and effective manner. We need more men like you in our beloved country and community to really take our youths to the next level cause without them and God we are meaningless.


  3. March 7, 2010

    Am looking at a few future Government Ministers,how cute.
    Great job. Early child hood reading is very important, especially the boys,
    if they miss that level, especially from home, when they get older they get very lazy to read.

  4. Anonymous
    March 6, 2010

    AHHHHH…i remember the days of Mr. Coipel at P.G.S class of 1997’………great principal. thanks sir!! keep doin what u do best

  5. Blanca
    March 6, 2010

    If you want to get kids interested in reading start with the parents, why not solicit volunteers to help these young boys or have a reading buddy. Children must be exposed to books or newspapers at a young age to appreciate reading. It is important parents turn off the TV and spend time with their children.

  6. sunshinegual
    March 6, 2010

    Great idea Jerry, There is definetly a need to encourage and promote reading. Many of the students find it very challenging to comprehend what they read. As educators we are aware that there are many factors that impact this inability to read and comprehend, and the onus is on us to create the environment that will bring about an awareness of the importance to read. We need that enabling environment. I love the idea of bringing persons from the community to read to students, I would like to suggest a book character parade in which students are allowed to dress up like characters of a story which was read to them. This might excite students and they may take more interest in stories. You could also try a response to literature through art so students read and reproduce the story through drawings or any other creative medium example role play, diaramas etc. Boys are generally creative. Encourage a writing journal in which students write simple responses to various topics of interest and get them to read to the class. These are just a few suggestions which I would really hope that you could try and see if help as well. Hope your day of reading turns out to be a great success. Just remember READING IS THE WAY TO GROW.

    March 6, 2010

    Coipel great initiatives.
    I beleieve it is high time the government of the day place great emphasis on public libraries in DA.
    First there is an urgent need for more public libraries.
    Secondly, it should designed insuch a way that it is user friendly.
    Thirdly, parents should encourage their kids to make use of the facilities and finally, the public transportation system should be so designed that it allow these chaufeurs to pass along its route in order to encourage students without private vehicle to access it.

  8. Isle of beauty
    March 6, 2010

    I think that when it comes to education most times girls advance far faster than boys. It’s not only at home but in the U.S.A. where I work it is the same. We really have to work extra hard to have our young sons perform successfully because they are going to be the young adults in the future. At my son’s school there is a reading program called S.F.A. (Success For All), where the students borrow books at a reading lab and when they are through reading, they are tested. The students have quarterly goals and yearly goals that they have to meet. When they meet these goals their names are posted on the bulletin board and they also receive certificates. Since my son is competitive he always reaches his goals before the deadline. Students need to be reward for good work and there should be incentives in place to encourage them to perform. When I was growing up I did not know about incentives but this is a new generation and students are mortivated when they know their is a reward. I’m not saying that they should be rewarded all the time but once in a while they should be.

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