Towards eliminating illiteracy…
National Library launches ‘The Children’s Reading Circle’
Guyana Chronicle
January 15, 2004

Related Links: Articles on education
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Pupils in attendance at the launching of the Children’s Reading Circle on Tuesday.
THE National Library launched ‘The Children’s Reading Circle’ in the conference room of its Church Street, Georgetown main building in the presence of parents and other special invitees on Tuesday.

Chief Librarian Karen George said the venture was based on an idea of Barbara Sukhai, a Queen’s College (QC) Chemistry teacher who first started a similar programme in Canada when she was residing there.

Ms George said the intention is to help rid this society of illiteracy and pointed to the many benefits from reading which, in this technology age, can still be termed a skill.

She said, once ‘Circle’ is successful in the city; plans will be put in place to have it instituted in the many branches across Guyana.

Sukhai, imploring the gathering to get involved, said, after years of hearing that children do not like to read, she decided to help change the situation.

Noting that children are the reflection of adulthood and are the future, she said every effort should be made to educate them by encouraging them to read.

Chief Librarian Mrs. Karen George accepts the cheque from Mr. Dennis Wilson, President of the Lions Club of Central Demerara. At centre is Mr. Rupert Hopkinson, Director of the Lions Club of Central Demerara. (Pictures by Cullen Bess Nelson)
“We have to mould our children by buying books for them, because it is not only a responsibility… it is, indeed, a commitment for parents to ensure that their children read,” Sukhai said.

Another speaker at the forum, Head of the Juvenile Department, Ms Merle James said it is expected that the programme would motivate children to read, socialise and communicate.

She said it would benefit teenagers, as well, by building their self-esteem and self-confidence.

James observed that many children of today have lost interest in reading and this development has become a major concern to educators and parents.

She explained that toys and games will be used to encourage children in reading and said 24 QC students have pledged their support.

Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) top 2003 student Daniel Ram, who delivered the feature address, expressed interest in participating, too.

“Reading can change our lives. It develops our minds. It is also a learning experience and makes you see, hear and feel the world through someone else’s eyes,” he said.

CXC top student for 2003, Mr. Daniel Ram, addresses the gathering at the launching of the Children’s Reading Circle on Tuesday.
Ram acknowledged that reading has inspired him, changed his emotions and made him a better person, because he developed a hunger for it at a very tender age.

Ram, who secured eleven-grade ones and three grade twos at the CXC level, credited his achievements to reading.

He is currently studying Science subjects in the sixth form and but is also very active in sports and other academic activities.

“Reading is something you do,” Ram declared, challenging others to follow his example and enrich their lives.

The President of Central Demerara Lions Club, Mr. Dennis Wilson presented a cheque for $5,000 and Club Director, Mr. Rupert Hopkinson handed over 315 books to the Chief Librarian, who received other donations from business entities at the launching.

‘The Children’s Reading Circle’ will be open from next week Tuesday between 3.30 p.m and 4.30 p.m. at the Church Street location where seven to 10-year-olds can register.