The U.S Ambassador to Dominica, the Director of Peace Corps Dominica and a representative of the U.S. Embassy along with Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit journeyed to the Portsmouth Public Library this week to play a part in encouraging children to read by donating children’s books to the institution.
The United States Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Larry Palmer, on behalf of his country, officially handed over a number of books to the library and he said that by making that contribution, a message was being sent on the importance of reading.
“Over the years the United States Embassy has donated many thousands of books throughout the Eastern Caribbean as part of our book donation project. One of the reasons I like book donations is because it encourages reading and that is so important to all of us. Reading opens minds and imaginations. Through reading, you can travel to all parts of the world; you can know what China, Europe and Africa are like and [you can learn about] wild animals. It’s a way to experience the world, so I really love book donations.”
The Honourable Prime Minister expressed a similar sentiment.
He said, “Reading is very important. Most people do not read sufficiently and they always like to repeat what somebody else has said but often times they don’t say what they have read themselves.”
Prime Minister Skerrit had a few words of advice for the children present.
“It is important for you as young people to read daily. That’s how you’re going to be smart and that’s how you’re going to pass your exams so that when you get to Grade Six you can earn a scholarship…I’m very happy to see you here and I can see that you all read every day. You read story books as well as schoolbooks. I know that those of you who are here today, watch some television and read a lot. I know it is summertime and that’s when you watch a lot of television but you also read a bit,” he said.
Hon. Skerrit said that “there’s nothing wrong with that because you have to enjoy vacation as well, after a long year at school.”
Librarian at the Portsmouth Public Library, Monique Matthew received the books and expressed her gratitude on behalf of the Dominica Library and Information Service.
“On behalf of the management and staff of the Dominica Library and Information Service, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the US Embassy for this generous donation of children’s books. I can assure that they will go a long way in improving the literacy of the students not only at the Portsmouth Library but also at the nine schools serviced by the Portsmouth Mobile Library as well as the general public.”
Following the handing-over of the books, Prime Minister Skerrit took a moment to read to the children before leaving.