PHILIPSBURG – The Readers Are Leaders Program, which is a reading program coordinated by the Rotary Club of St. Maarten Sunrise and the Philipsburg Jubilee Library for the past six years, has been encouraging high school students to read at least 1 book per month.
This school year, however, the program was piloted in four elementary schools, namely: Ruby Labega, St. Joseph, MAC Browlia Maillard and MAC Rev. John Gumbs campuses.
During the school year, students participated in the Butterfly Storybook Project, which is an annual writing competition organized by the Rotary E-Club of the Caribbean for young emerging writers in the Caribbean aged 7-11, where Sacha Tobias of MAC Browlia Maillard was selected as one of the winners of this competition, and had her story published along with the other selected winners in our Rotary District 7020.
Students from the St. Joseph and Ruby Labega schools also participated in the annual “World Poetry Day Poetry Recital” along with high school participants of the program.
The Ruby Labega School, which was the first elementary school to implement the reading program in their school curriculum, encouraged their Groups 5, 6, and 7 (Grades 3, 4, and 5) students to participate in the program, which ran from September 2015 to April 2016. The top reading student from each class at that school were: Group 5: Salina Annabella Gopaul; Group 6: Pinping Liu; and Group 7: Kurt Haupt.
Pinping Liu, who read more than 15 books, was crowned the overall winner of the Readers Are Leaders Program.
President Okama Ekpe Brook of the Rotary Club of St. Maarten Sunrise, and program coordinators Rotarian Marcellia Henry and Maryland Powell from the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, congratulated Pinping Liu for being the overall winner, and Principal Esther Jeffers, Vice Principal Gustina Lake, Teacher Sheron Thomas-Gumbs, and the classroom teachers for embracing this program, making it part of their school curriculum, and thus helping to promote literacy and the love for reading.
The Readers Are Leaders Program will commence once again in September, in the new school year. Elementary and high schools interested in participating in the new school year can contact the Philipsburg Jubilee Library at: 542-2970.