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Young Brac Readers: Kids were transported to new worlds during last year’s Summer Reading Programme.

Published 30th June 2011, 9:29am

This year the Cayman Islands Public Library Services’ Summer Reading Programme will feature Kwame Alexander, a special international guest.

A world-renowned educator, literacy trainer and guest lecturer, Mr. Alexander will visit the 18-29 July programme to host the Book-in-a-Day Workshop for young adults.

He has authored more than thirteen books and published 100-plus authors, and as such is well-positioned to teach students essential-writing techniques and share tips on how to get published.

His workshop will conclude with a special presentation from recently-published local author Stephanie Gunby, who at only 14 years of age has written and published a 56-page paperback, The Clever Clouds.

“The addition of the Book-in-a-Day Workshop to the annual summer reading programme is especially exciting,” Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, commented. “It will help to reinforce the literacy skills learned in school, while also demonstrating to participants the importance of excelling in reading.”

He added, “Ms. Gunby being published at age 14 is a wonderful example of what other young writers can aspire to.”

But beyond the Book-in-a-day Workshop parents can also look forward to a packed programme, filled with the customary slew of free activities for children between five and 14 years old.

This year’s theme, One World, Many Stories,encourages participants to dive into the realm of books and reading, and escape to the many places that stories will take them. But even more importantly, it provides motivation to continue reading during the summer break.

“With the plethora of distractions today, it is increasingly challenging to keep children reading,” explained Youth and Reference Librarian Juliet Lawson. “All too often, books are the furthest things from their minds.”

Referencing she also noted, “Children who read during the summer months do much better when school resumes. In contrast, those who fail to read throughout the holiday demonstrate a significant loss in literacy skills.

“Our annual reading programme is accordingly aimed at encouraging all children to continue reading during the lengthy summer vacation.”

The two-week programme will engage participants in a range of fun activities including read-a-longs, arts and crafts, and music and dance, between 10:00 a.m. and noon daily. Snacks will be provided, as will free t-shirts at the start of the programme.

Children and teens will also be encouraged to accept the annual reading challenge of reading as many books as possible. Top readers will be rewarded for their efforts with achievement certificates and prizes.

The programme’s final day (Friday, 29 July) will be marked by a special reading celebration service at each branch library, as well as the presentation of participatory certificates.

For more information on this summer’s reading programme, visit your nearest community library or call Youth and Reference Librarian Juliet Lawson on 949-5159.