Race to Literacy - Donate a book to a child
Left: Supreme Ventures' Carlene Walters (centre) hands a cheque to Errol Alberga, governor for District 7020 of the Rotaract Club, as Deika Morrison looks on. The company made the donation as part of the Rotary Clubs of Jamaica's 'Race to Literacy Book Drive Project'. Right: Karen McDonald Gayle (left), acting CEO of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, hands over a cheque to Errol Alberga, governor for District 7020 of the Rotaract Club, at the 'Race to Literacy Book Drive Project' launch at the Spanish Court Hotel on Wednesday. Looking on is Deika Morrison, chief organiser of the project. - Photos by Colin Hamilton/Photographer
A major book drive to raise the literacy rate in the island was kicked off by Rotary clubs in Jamaica on Wednesday.
The voluntary organisation launched 'Race to Literacy Book Drive Project' in an aim to gather as many books as possible and, in the process, make the Guinness Book of World Records for the 'Most Books Donated to Charity in Seven Days'. That record is held by Rotarians in California, who set the record with 242,624 books in 2008.
The drive, which is being led by Rotary Clubs in association with The Gleaner, enlists the help of several organisations and individuals. Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Minister of Education Andrew Holness have endorsed the venture, with the latter promising to donate books from his personal library.
The launch this week was used to emphasise the benefits of a well-read society.
Chief organiser of the drive, Deika Morrison, implored Jamaicans to get on-board the project.
"In Jamaica, what we are doing is we are collecting as many new or nearly new books of any kind, and let me stress that of any kind," she said.
Morrison said there was a need in Jamaica for books, because even though the country has a literacy rate of 85 per cent, many children were entering grade one as emergent readers. She also stated that reading develops a nation by ensuring its stability and prosperity.
While the drive was launched Wednesday, Rotary will not be collecting any of the books directly until May 1. This official drive will last from May 1-7.
Before then, until April 30, persons will be able to drop off their books at points across the island.
The points identified now are The Gleaner Company's head office at 7 North Street, Kingston, and Jamaica Money Market Brokers branches islandwide.
Persons can also contribute through cash to the drive. Money raised will go towards buying special books for children. Persons can make a donation to the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaican account number: 822269 and its US$ account number: 822271.
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