Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Jamaican Minister of Education calls for libraries to emphasize reading as a family activity

Author: Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness
Source Jamaica Information Service
Date: Monday, November 02, 2009
URL: http://www.jis.gov.jm/MinSpeeches/html/20091102T110000-0500_21728_JIS_HON__MINISTER_OF_EDUCATION_S_PARENT_MONTH_MESSAGE_NOVEMBER_2009.asp

The Jamaican Minister of Education this month calls for libraries and schools to emphasize reading as a family activity. The Minister of Education in his Parent Month's message for November invites libraries and schools to find innovative ways of getting families to read or work on developing literacy skills in their children. The Minister of Education also outlines some of the plans for the month, including the Jamaica Library Service hosting a National Reading Fair. The emphasis or the aim for this Parent month is to encourage parents to assist schools and libraries in the literacy development of their children.

During this Parent Month, being staged under the theme - Parent the Right Way - Read with Your Child Every Day - we are asking all of our schools, libraries, churches and civic organizations to stress the importance of family literacy. We encourage you to stage family literacy events inviting parents to sit with their children and explore a book together.

We are asking you to encourage families to join the Library Service and make visits to the local library a regular family event. We are asking you to find creative ways to increase the amount of print material available at school and in the community - maybe do a project where inspirational words are printed on walkways. Model reading in school, ensure that parents model reading at home. Create word trees by writing vocabulary words from stories on card paper and hanging them from trees in your yard. At school create class books where each child makes up a line of a story and illustrates their words. Have students read their stories to the other classes. Dedicate a specific time each day or each week to have all members of school staff "drop everything and read." Most importantly share creative reading ideas with parents so that they too can make reading fun for their children at home.

During this month, let us seize the opportunity to bring our parents into the fold and encourage them to make reading a priority in their homes. On Saturday November 28th, 2009, the Jamaica Library Service will hold its annual Reading Fair, we are encouraging Jamaican families to help us make that the National Family Reading Day by making a concerted effort to read with their children.

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