August 14, 2012
Hope Junior High School summer reading programme climaxes

A summer programme designed to help students improve their reading abilities has come to a close, following a four-week run at the Hope Junior High School.{{more}}

The programme, which was led by international volunteer and programme coordinator Jim Bourgeois, held its closing ceremony at the school yesterday.

Bourgeois, a Trinidadian national, urged participants to take what they have learnt and put it to practice on a daily basis.

“We have spent four weeks together … and now that we have reached this point, I would like to congratulate you… But this is not the end!” he said.

Bourgeois also appealed to parents to help their children maintain their new-found reading skills, and suggested that they practise reading for 15 to 20 minutes each day.

“Practice not only makes perfect, it makes permanent,” he insisted.

Bourgeois also urged the corporate sector to become more involved in such youth-focused programmes, with regard to sponsorship and financing — reminding them that their input could help students to “lead more productive lives”.

Frederick Stephenson, Minister of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Family, Persons with Disabilities and Youth, also gave brief remarks.

Stephenson highlighted the importance of being able to read properly, and how fundamental it is to every aspect of their educational careers.

Paraphrasing a quote from Henry Ford, founder of Ford cars, he said: “The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young … anyone who stops reading becomes old.

“I am sure that all of you are better off today than when you began [the reading programme],” Stephenson said.

Additionally, he expressed gratitude to Bourgeois and Hope Junior High School’s co-founders Johnston Taylor and Esther Carr-Taylor for their dedication and “excellent” work at the school and on the summer reading programme.

In closing, Stephenson told the participants that they are the “future of St Vincent and the Grenadines”, and that as such, they should take their education seriously.(JV)