Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Book Reading at Hanover Parish Library

It’s been a while since I did a book reading, so I was keen to take up Marvetta Stewart Richard’s invitation to read from Delroy in the Marog Kingdom, at Hanover Parish Library, on Friday January 29, 2016. As we had arranged for 11 o’clock, I was impressed when Michelle Deacon-Brown, Children’s Services Librarian, who greeted me, said that the children were ready and waiting. Indeed they were, waiting patiently. I learned, to my delight, that the students were from Hanover Preparatory School, the successor to Lucea Prep which I had founded in 1982. What was more, the principal, Desiree Brissett, remembered that I had been on the staff at Rusea’s High School when she was a student there!
         I started my reading in the usual way with a boy playing the part of Delroy, putting the frog in the pot and another boy clamping on the lid. When I read “I stifled the urge to burst out laughing,” the boy acting as Delroy didn’t stifle the urge at all, much to everyone’s amusement. I later found out that this boy is an avid reader, reading up to 8 books a week.
The frog who takes part in my
book readings.

I appreciated the quiet venue of the library, unlike some of the schools where I have read, where I’ve hardly been able to hear my own voice.  All the students, being able to hear, were attentive and appreciative. The vote of thanks was given by Michaela Harvey, the Hanover Spelling Bee Champion.
After the reading, Mrs. Deacon-Brown told me of some of the initiatives she takes to encourage children to read. There is  a book club which meets every Friday afternoon. The library staff help children to choose their books and challenge the better readers to try more difficult books. If they don't like them, there's no pressure on them to read them.

They have a section for Jamaican (local) books which they encourage children to read. There were well-worn copies of Miss Bettina's House by Hazel Campbell, Jenny and the General by Jean D'Costa, and other books in Carlong's Sand Pebble Series.   Hopefully, the empty shelves mean that most of the books, including 'Delroy in the Marog Kingdom', are out on loan! Whether that is so or not, the library with its limited budget would benefit from donations of more of these books.
To instill a love of books in children from an early age, there is a section for tiny tots where their mothers can read to them in a child-friendly atmosphere. More mothers need to take advantage of this space. In addition to the Parish Library in Lucea, there are branch libraries in Chester Castle, Pondside, Askenish, Jericho and Hopewell. There is also a Bookmobile. Are the communities they serve taking full advantage of  what is being offered?  The best way for children to improve their reading is to read widely. Mrs. Stewart Richards, Mrs. Deacon Brown are doing a great job in making books available to children. They deserve our support.

Room for tiny  tots and their mothers



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