Energy Minister and MP for Port of Spain North/St Ann's West Stuart Young on Friday visited the Book Buddies 2022 Holiday Reading Camp, currently under way at the seminar room, NALIS, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.
Young has funded this programme since 2017. Thirty children between the ages of six and ten from his constituency are participating in the camp.
Young read pages 22-27 of the book Lions At Lunchtime from the Magic Tree House series by American author Mary Pope Osborne. The children joined in some passages of the reading.
"It's important to do outdoor activities, read and share with friends beyond technology," Young said after reading. He urged children to read more physical books and fewer virtual ones.
“I am happy to be able to share this camp for our children after two years of the covid19 pandemic,” he said.
The two-week camp, which began on August 8, is led by reading coaches from the local reading-advocacy group Book Buddies TT.
Book Buddies seeks to spread the power of reading among children from six to 15. For the two-week camp, the group's focus is to instil the joy and pleasure of reading in participants, promote reading, foster the habit of reading, improve literacy skills among children, and increase membership in the Children's Library.
Lions At Lunchtime was selected for this year for its potential to increase participants' knowledge of geography, the only remaining great animal migration on the planet, animals indigenous to the plains of Africa, the Mara River, Kenya, Tanzania, the Masaai tribe, and to teach lessons of connection and respect for people from other cultures.
Camp participants take part in daily reading and excerpt-focused book talks, watch animal documentaries, play brain teasers, and colour.
In total, 210 boys and girls have participated in the 2017-2019 and 2022 camps.
Also present during the reading were Paula Greene, executive director of NALIS; Debbie Goodman, corporate communications manager; and librarian Monique Heywood.