Wed | Jun 7, 2023

'Children should see reading as fun, not punishment' - Kiwanis Club wants kids to develop love for books

Published:Saturday | May 11, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Daphne Corrodus, wife of the custos of St James, reads to students at Chubby Cheeks Preschool in Montego Bay during Read Across Jamaica Day.

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer


President of the Kiwanis Club of Providence in Montego Bay, Nicoleen Rhoomes, is calling on Jamaicans to get more children interested in reading before they enter high school.

She was speaking at a national Read Across Jamaica Day outreach activity on Monday.

"I think we need to go back to basics as it relates to reading so that by the time students are at the primary level, they can express themselves better, write their own stories, and develop the culture of reading. These days, what you find is that you give a student a book to read. They just gloss over it without an interest in reading it," Rhoomes, who is also a teacher, said.

Read Across Jamaica Day is observed on May 7 every year and forms part of activities by the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) to celebrate Education Week.

The Kiwanis Club of Providence, through its Young Children Priority One Committee, participated in the day's activities to promote literacy in schools by reading with students and presenting books to basic schools in Montego Bay. They also visited the Chubby Cheeks Preschool, Barracks Road Basic School, Spot Valley High, and the Maranatha Early Childhood Centre.


"Kiwanis is focused on empow-ering students at all levels through reading, and for every school we visited, we left six or seven books for the school library. Our intent is to make reading fun, and we want children to see reading as something that is fun and not as a form of punishment. We want to expand their thinking, and reading is a tool that will do that, so the Read Across Jamaica must become a more than a day; it should be a habit," Rhoomes said.

This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Education, the JTA, corporates, and non-governmental organisations. The day is an important step in getting children to make reading a regular part of their lives. It seeks to foster interest in reading by encouraging parents and other members of the society to read a book to a child.