'Reading is a dying art'
AFTER FOUR intense rounds of debating, and a gritty final match, Spalding Primary School was crowned in glory after they successfully opposed the moot that 'Reading is a dying art' to win the 2015 Clarendon parish library debating competition.
The north-western Clarendon institution stood its ground against a hard-hitting trio of debaters from Rock Primary School.
"This is our second year participating in this competition, and we are extremely delighted to finally win the top prize. This victory means so much to the debaters, their parents, teachers and the school community," exclaimed Karen Reid, shortly after chief judge Pauline Blake-Henry announced that Spalding had won the competition.
"The students have simply been magnificent this year. We invested a lot of time preparing them to be ... champions, you know, and see, Spalding is the champion," Reid, who is one of the teachers who prepared the students, said with pride.
Senior librarian at the Clarendon Parish library, Audrey Minott, in lauding the 13 participating schools, the sponsors, judges and the other entities that collaborated to make the competition a success, said it all started in 2001 as a commemorating gesture to celebrate the library's 50th anniversary.
She added that following a successful first staging, the decision was taken to continue with the programme as a Child Month event. She also hinted that while a number of schools have opted to forgo the debates in 2015, it is still a priority event for a number of institutions across the parish.
"Our numbers in terms of participating schools is down this year. However, it is still a competition that a lot of schools look forward to each year," the senior librarian said.
"However, we are, nonetheless, thankful for the schools, sponsors and other entities who continue to make this competition a great success," she added.
Chief sponsor, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) regional representative, Michelle Curling-Ludford, said while the CAC is known for consumer protection and advocacy, the library's debating competition is a programme that the CAC is pleased to be associated with because of its potential to cultivate good consumer advocates.
"The CAC is desirous of having a population of consumers who are knowledgeable, vigilant and discriminating, and who know their rights as consumers ... therefore, there isn't a better place to start our education programme than with the children," said Curling-Ludford.