RESTORE Belize, as a part of its EWS Programme, closed off its Education Month activities with the fourth annual Readathon Competition and Award Ceremony. In February of 2018 the Ministry of Education launched literacy as a national priority, and an essay component for children from Std. 2 and 3 was included in the competition to align with that inititative.
The competition is a collaborative effort between RESTORE Belize, the Ministry of Education, the National Library Service and Information System, and Private Belize Adventure with all partners playing an important role in preparing schools with books and materials.
The Readathon and Essay Competition spanned weeks where students were encouraged to read as much as they could and complete book reports and essays. On the day of the ceremony, children from the nine participating schools eagerly took their seats at the Leo Bradley Library Compound to find out the results.
The program included speakers from RESTORE Belize, the National Library Service, the Ministry of Education, and the Football Federation of Belize as well as presentations by Stella Maris School. The National Library Service came out with energy to entertain the children with plays before taking them on a tour of the library.
Our Education Consultant, Dr. Rose Bradley emphasized the importance of the event as a way to encourage reading. She said “We encourage the kids to come to the library check out books and read as many books as possible… The library actually went into the schools dropped off books once every two weeks. We asked the kids to read the books and check them out. They read the books. They also completed a book report which they had to submit and so we then looked a the book report and evaluate and that is how we determine who the winner is."
Many of the students read up to 20 books, and all participating students were issued certificates. The Readathon was separated into two categories: Std. 1, 2, and 3, and Std. 4 and 5. In the first category, std. 3 students Siah Straughan from Queen St. Baptist, Haley Sanchez from Central Christian, and Chloe Sanchez from Trinity Methodist captured 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively.
In the second category, Jada Logan from Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Arling Enamorado from Central Christian, and Jennalyn Young from Queen St. Baptist placed top three.
The Essay Competition served as a preparation for BJAT with participants from Std. 2 and 3. Chloe Sanchez placed first, capturing her second prize for the day. Eddie Hernandez of Central Christian and Carlos Pabon of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary placed second and third, respectively.
We extend our warmest congratulations to the participants and look forward to the essays and engagement that next year will bring!