In its efforts to highlight the importance of reading the Elmore Stoutt High School honoured four outstanding writers who have contributed in the educational advancement of the Territory.
The honourees are Dr. Charles Wheatley, Dr. Quincy Lettsome, Dr. Patricia Turnbull and Mr. Vernon W. Pickering. Witnessing the ceremony were about 1,400 students.
During the opening ceremony of “Reading is Fun Week” on 12 October the honourees were saluted and presented with certificates from the Ministry of Education and Culture. This year’s “Reading is Fun Week” is dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Pearl L Varlack, who was a distinguished historian, author, professor, teacher, educator, and anthropologist (Dr. Varlack was represented at the ceremony by family member Phylis George).
In presenting the certificates to the honourees Minister Walwyn said “What is also important is the honouring of the persons who are sitting behind of me, persons who live in the Virgin Islands, who are from the Virgin Islands, who continue to make their contributions to the national development of this country. Persons who have taken the time and who have the vision to chronicle experiences and their thoughts about our country.”
In his fervid address, the Minister urged the students to read more: “Take the time to read, improve your vocabulary and open up your minds to the wider world that is out there.”
Acting Principal, of the Elmore Stoutt High School, Sandy Underhill also urged the students to nurture a love for reading. “Reading can be soothing, it helps those who are highly active to be still and quiet while reading. It increases vocabulary, improves spelling and also improves writing skills,” she said, adding that overall, reading provides the foundation necessary for academic success.
Dr. Charles Wheatley responded on behalf of the honourees and told the students that words have power and that a word spoken cannot be taken back. As such the former educator urged the students to think carefully before they speak.
The opening ceremony featured captivating presentations from students of the Venette, Simmonds, Paradise and Wonder Years pre-schools. There were also various performances by the Elmore Stoutt High School, Waterman & Co., ESHS Drama Group, and Allen and Leon Wheatley.
The 2015 Reading is Fun Week spans from 11-16 October and is being celebrated under the theme, “Reading: It does make a difference”.