Sat | Dec 3, 2016

GG joins race to literacy

Published:Wednesday | March 31, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen (left) presents books from his personal collection to the Rotary Race to Literacy project. Byron Buckley, special projects editor at The Gleaner Company, which is a collection point for the book drive, receives the books while Rotarian Deika Morrison (second right) and District Governor Errol Alberga Jr look on at King's House, St Andrew, yesterday. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

GOVERNOR GENERAL Sir Patrick Allen yesterday joined the Rotary 'Race to Literacy' book drive by donating several publications from his personal collection to The Gleaner Company.

The Gleaner, which is one of many collection points across the country, will present the books to the Rotary Clubs of Jamaica during the period May 1-7 as they attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records mark of 242,624 books to be collected in seven days.

"It is a pleasure to participate in this drive and I trust that it will result in the betterment of the country," the governor general said while handing over the collection at King's House yesterday to The Gleaner's special projects editor, Byron Buckley.

Sir Patrick encouraged both young and old to enjoy the world of reading, which is the foundation of sustainable development.

In accepting the books, Buckley noted that The Gleaner was supportive of the project because it promoted education and literacy, which are critical requirements of nation building.

Curbing literacy crisis

Chief organiser of the project, Deika Morrison, said with a growing literacy crisis in the country the Rotary Club saw the competition as a good way to call on the Jamaican people to donate books to stem the problem.

She said the books will be primarily placed at the Jamaica Library Service because of its islandwide reach.

"I think it is going to help every single person in Jamaica, that is the way that we envision it, every single person will participate and benefit," stated Morrison.

She implored everyone, especially children, to be regular users of the library facilities, which are the hub for basic information.

The organiser noted that books are the best investment one could make in a child's life as it makes a world of difference, by making it easier for them to learn as well as to help them socialise better.

The book drive, which was launched in early February, unites all the Rotary clubs in Jamaica in an effort to improve literacy levels on the island, as well as in Haiti. It was inspired by a book drive undertaken by Rotarians at the International Convention last year in Los Angeles, California. The drive was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most books collected in seven days, a total of 242,624 books.

While the actual drive is set to take place from May 1-7, persons are asked to donate books to the project partners. These include The Gleaner, Island Grill and Jamaica Money Market Brokers islandwide, as well as a number of other organisations.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com