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Nov 28, 2002

Top readers compete in story contest

Story Picture
Earlier this month we covered the opening of a competition intended to revive the seemingly lost art of reading. Today, that contest concluded with some of Belize’s best orators going head to head.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

Today, finalists from each of the districts in the National Story Reading Contest presented their best work.

The event aims to promote reading among primary school students, but even the participants admit, maintaining interest is tough.

Jacqueline Sabal, Sacred Heart Primary, Dangriga

“I kinda haf to convince myself to read.”

Janelle Chanona

“Why is that?”

Jacqueline Sabal

“Because I watch too much TV”

Competition from the electronic babysitter is fierce and according to school officials, the result is disastrous.

Clara Sabal, Principal, Sacred Heart School

“I think one of the biggest that is parents are not getting behind children to really read. Children are getting away with a lot of things, so rather than getting a child to sit down and really read, the child prefers to sit in front of the TV. As a result of that, we have a lot of children who leave the school system with just a basic reading or some of them leave with no reading at all.”

Sabal says the solution is simple.

Clara Sabal

“I think what parents should do is make a conscious effort to have their children read to them every night. I am sure that if they do that it’s going to work.”

At the end of the competition, Jacqueline Sabal placed first in category one, for students from standards one through three, while Kayla Arnold took top honours in category two, for students in standards four through six. The National Story Reading contest is made possible through the efforts of the National Library Service with support from the Interamerican Development Bank and the Ministry of Education.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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