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Business houses sponsor Courts OECS Reading Competition

Business houses sponsor Courts OECS Reading Competition

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The students selected for this year’s Courts OECS Reading Competition are in for a host of prizes and treats, should they make it to the final round and beyond.{{more}}

At Tuesday’s launch of the 2013 competition, Courts senior marketing manager Alexis John announced that with new sponsors on board, the prize pool has deepened.

“The winner gets $2,000, and the winning school will also walk away with $2,000. Second place will walk away with $1,000, and third place $750,” John said at the press conference that was held at the Courts conference room in Kingstown.

“In addition to that, the winner will represent St Vincent at the regional finals; this will take place in St Lucia on October 17, 2013. Also the winner gets the right to read a segment of the news on SVG TV.

John also informed that the winner will receive a Samsung Tablet from sponsors Digicel, second place gets a Kindle Fire compliments SEARCHLIGHT and third a book package from Jujube Bookstore.

The first three places will receive cash to go towards bank accounts, compliments attorney Rochelle A. Forde Chambers, a year’s supply of Vitamalt from the St Vincent Brewery Ltd, and grocery vouchers from C.K. Greaves Supermarket.

All seven finalists will also receive books from Jujube, trophies from Multigraphics Services, as well as supplies of Vitamalt,, and other prizes from other sponsors.

Apart from the winners, each participant will also receive a book compliments Jujube Bookstore.

Other prizes for the local leg of the competition will be announced.

“At the regional competition in St Lucia, you will get the opportunity to win $5,000, your school will also get $5,000, if you win,” John informed students.

“Every participant will also get cash prizes as well as a top brand laptop,” he said.

Education officer in the language, literacy and communications division of the Ministry of Education Mavis Joseph, speaking at the press conference, said that her Ministry was pleased to work along with Courts, in their decision to reach out to students.

“We are heartened that you are in the fight with us against the scourge of illiteracy in our midst.

“You have not only recognized the need for promoting literacy within the primary schools, but you have taken action.

“This venture will ultimately enhance the overall development of our country… and we are grateful….”

Joseph indicated that the competition was open to one student from each of the 66 local primary schools, and the child must be eight or nine years old, and will be expected to read two passages – one in the form of a story and the other in the form of a news item.

The child will be given one minute to peruse the passage before reading.

She also indicated that the preliminary round would run from September 24 to 26, and would be contested in eight zones.

The final is slated for October 10.

No stranger to the competition as a sponsor, Michele Samuel, now Courts country manager said that the company was pleased to host the competition for its fifth year, and indicated that there was a surprise in store.

“At Courts, we have chosen to focus on reading, which is a fundamental skill in the development of literacy, and we believe literacy is a cornerstone for a better society,” Samuel said

“We are particularly excited that each year, the competition has grown not only in terms of participation, but also in terms of sponsors who have joined with us to fight illiteracy in the nation,” she added.

To the students, she said that apart from the many prizes up for grabs, she hopes that the most valuable thing that would be taken away from the competition is encouragement and a passion to continue to read.

“Reading opens up the whole world to you.”

Representatives of sponsors also spoke at the conference, expressing their pleasure at being a part of the event, and encouraging the students to do their best.

Sponsors present were Digicel, represented by Justin John; Jujube Bookstore, represented by Kelmore Haddaway and SEARCHLIGHT, represented by Molicia Charles.

This is the fifth year that St Vincent and the Grenadines has been participating in the regional competition.

Lindsay Dowers of the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School won the inaugural local leg in 2009.

The following year, Nicholson Lavia of the Owia Government School won the competition, followed by Solange Compton of the Kingstown Preparatory School, then Zanique Daize of the St Mary’s RC.

The highest St Vincent has placed was third in 2009, when Dowers paticipated.

This year’s competition is being held under the theme “Promoting literacy, investing in our nation’s children.”(JJ)

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