With the goal of educating youth, the Jamaica Reading Association (JRA) and the First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union (FHCCU) have teamed up for Jamaica’s annual event National Reading Week.
Starting on April 8, FHCCU branches visited schools to encourage reading habits. Tuesday was Reading Day at Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High school in Kingston, where children participated in reading hours, a scavenger hunt and a by using the word of the day, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. Schools participated in various ways, but one thing that they all had in common was this year’s book.
This year the JRA decided to choose a book that could be read by all Jamaicans in celebration of the week. The novel No Boy Like Amanda by Hope Barnett is a story about a girl in rural Jamaica who finds herself struggling to be one of the boys in order to play with her brothers. The JRA believed that children of all ages could understand the story and be able to relate to the lessons. No Boy Like Amanda addresses self-esteem issues along with perseverance, according to JRA member Phyllis Anderson.
National Reading Week is one way the JRA targets to improve the reading skills at younger ages. According to the news site the Jamaica Star, Anderson believes that literacy is an important characteristic to develop a stronger nation which is achievable through having children not only read but practice creative writing.