PRESS RELEASE – Celestial Self-Development Centre four months ago began its first-ever annual Summer Adult Reading Challenge which encompass International Literacy Day, 8 September, and ended on 30 September 2014.
We called on organizations, students, and the general public to help us reach participants for our annual Book Challenge in 2014 as part of our drive to improve adult literacy in Saint Lucia.
Together we celebrated the success of the Book Challenge, which challenged persons from schools, colleges and workplaces to come into the Centre and sign up in support.
Signing up would allow a charity of their choice to win a selection of books on the winner’s behalf.
We want the Book Challenge to be increasingly recognized as a key intervention of using reading for pleasure to help tackle that continuing skills deficit in our country.
This initiative is cited as an example of a multifaceted approach to adult learning in reports coming from Businesses, Innovators and participants calling for a more flexible, better funded and joint way of tackling what it describes as the ‘alarmingly low levels of adult literacy and numeracy in Saint Lucia’.
D’Anthony Charles, a Challenge Participant said: “I need everyone’s help to reach at least 1,000- 5,000 people in 2015 because we know the difference participating in a Challenge of this nature can make to people’s lives and to society as a whole.
When I completed the tenth book in the Book Challenge I felt like ‘a new, more confident person’. That is how we want everyone to feel because we believe that everything changes when we read.
The reading reaffirmed for me the recognition, that life is a journey where you celebrate all that you have now, feel perfectly happy about what you have and don’t have, all while working hard to achieve your grandest goals and dreams.
This Challenge has afforded me the opportunity to give back to the community and for that I am ever grateful to Celestial Self Development Centre.” ”
Celestial Self-Development Centre will make a special presentation to D’Anthony’s Charity the Holy Family Children’s Home located in Ciceron On Sunday, 12th October 2014, at its annual creole themed dinner; “Vwa Pou Mame” (Voices for Children).
Research has found that when children leave the structured environment of the classroom for summer break, many stop reading – and their reading abilities starts to slip.
Strong readers plateau. Struggling readers fall even farther behind. Celestial Self-Development Centre considers it a mission as Research also shows that summer loss has a greater impact on low-income children, and can widen the achievement gap.
Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement during the summer months, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.
More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income students can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
Summer reading also provides a solution to a problem parent’s encounter during the summer months. It is the most difficult time to keep children engaged and involved in productive activities, many parents report.
Reading year round is absolutely essential to the academic advancement of students, and families let’s face it education never stops, and one needs to read more than Newspapers.
Someone once made a profound statement when he said: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.’ A regular reading schedule actually serves to enhance our learning potential.
It also provides a wide window of opportunity for us to connect with the world. To that end, Celestial Self-Development Centre is pleased to have created and participate in the promotion of four months of summer reading Challenge and congratulations to D’Anthony Charles on winning the challenge and thanks to all other participants for their support of the programme. We look forward to full participation in next year’s programme.