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U.S. Ambassador Stresses Importance Of Reading

Pictured left to right are: US Ambassador, Her Excellency Nicole Avant, student artist, Junior Dameus and Education Minister, The Honourable T. Desmond Bannister.

L.W. Young Junior High School students expressed their appreciation to US Ambassador, Her Excellency Nicole Avant and Minister of Education, The Honourable T. Desmond Bannister for their remarks at the school’s Library Week Assembly.  They presented the officials with a painting and a butterfly mosaic The theme for the occasion was, The Importance of Reading.

Minister of Education, The Honourable T. Desmond Bannister and the United States Ambassador to The Bahamas, Her Excellency, and Nicole Avant emphasised the importance of reading to students of the L. W. Young Junior High School, during their Library Week Assembly on Tuesday, 9th November, 2010.

Minister Bannister advised the students that it is never too late to learn how to read, but the earlier that they start the more opportunities would be open to them.  The Minister further stated that reading is one of the best deterrents to being in a gang, because gangs do not want persons who can think for themselves.

“They want followers who will do as they are instructed.  Gangs seldom recruit students who are into their books or involved in positive activities such as the Debating Society, the Drama Club, the School Bands or Rangers,” he further noted.

Minister Bannister also challenged ninth graders to surpass the success of the Class of 2010 who made significant improvement in their school’s BJC performance.   He also stated that their success in the BJC examinations will have a great impact on their BGCSE results in future.   He reminded them last year, Jessica Marc attained 4 As and 1 B while Krista Musgrove achieved 1 A, 4Bs and 1 C which earned them both scholarships at St. Anne’s High and St. John’s  College respectively.

The Minister also told students that although they have access to the internet and believe that it is better than books; the best books are not on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube; they are still in libraries staffed with librarians who can offer guidance and direction on the best research sources.

US Ambassador shared her experienced of attending a book signing for a young US Senator; the book was titled the ‘Audacity of Hope’ and the author, Barack Obama.  A year later when she was invited to work on his presidential campaign, she did not hesitate and in November 2008 that young man was the first African American elected to the presidency of the United States.

The Ambassador indicated that her favourite author is the renowned Maya Angelou who wrote the American classic ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ and the inspirational poem ‘Phenomenal Woman’.

She added that like Mrs. Angelou once said, “If I were a young person, today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do it again by reading, just as I did when I was young”.

The assembly also featured students reciting poetry about reading and singing songs highlighting the benefits of reading.

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