The Commonwealth of Dominica has once again taken the top spot in the Annual Courts OECS reading competition.
Its student Louise Aarons walked away with the championship at the finals of the six-year-old competition, which was held last week Thursday at the Grenada Trade Centre at Morne Rouge.
Students from six OECS member territories were keenly engaged in a battle for the coveted title, which had two rounds of competition – reading a Narrative and then News.
Aarons finished with 712 points to defeat Grenada’s Jaylyn Jones (692) while Rebecca Chowtipersad of St Kitts and Nevis came in third with 676 points.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Khadijah Simon, Gabrielle Barthelmy of St Lucia and Rheanna Cecile Harry of SVG occupied the 4th, 5th and 6th positions respectively.
Aarons received $5000 in cash for her effort, as well as a trophy, laptop, book prizes, handset and Certificate of Participation.
The local girl who finished second walked away with $3000 in cash, a trophy, book prizes, handset, and Certificate of Participation while the St. Kitts entrant took home $2000, a trophy, book prizes, handset, and a Certificate of Participation.
The remaining participants received a Laptop each, Certificates of Participation, Book Prizes compliments Cathwill’s Stationery Ltd, Handsets compliments DIGICEL Grenada and Cash prize of $1000 each.
Senior Manager of Courts Unicomer Grenada Ltd, Ann Marie De Gale said although Courts is involved in many corporate programmes, the reading competition is very special to the company.
She said the aim of the competition is to mold the youngsters in the sub-region and to continue to add value to the lives of customers and by extension the wider community.
“This competition to our youngsters provides an avenue for young persons to build their character, self esteem and help develop and mold them into confident and productive adults”, she told the gathering.
“…I challenge all the students here today to give the playstation and other electronics a break and read at least one book before the end of the year. I urge you to continue to read, you may be the person representing your school in the next competition or you may even represent Grenada in the finals,” she said.
Unicomer OECS acting Managing Director, Patrick Coghiel noted that the competition is the brainchild of the Dominica Broadcasting Station (DBS) and his company has adopted the initiative out of recognition that it would be ideal for a child’s development.
“We view reading as a critical element in the development of our young people and by extension the development of our nations. We are delighted to be able to encourage our youngsters to read despite the ever-growing distractions of computers, computer games, Mp3 players, and television”, he said.
“…The benefits that this provides to society in encouraging our children to participate in healthy competition will build their self confidence and improve their reading abilities, are manifold,” he added.
The finals of next year’s competition will be held in Dominica, as it is custom for the winner to be the host country of the next competition.