From kindergarteners on up through 8th graders about to embark on high school, St. Croix students who read at least five books this summer as part of the Governor's Summer Reading Challenge were feted for their studiousness at D.C. Canegata Ballpark Recreation Center Sunday.
The program, now in its fourth year, challenges children in kindergarten through eighth grade to read at least five books of their choice over the summer. The children are given tracking sheets to record their progress and books to start off with. Once the child fills in the sheet he or she turns it in at a public library or any office of the governor. Students can choose to go on and read more than the required five books. They also have access to online books through the public library's website. Those students who read five books or more got the opportunity to join friends and peers for this by-invitation-only activity.
There were arts and crafts booths and a fire truck, and students received prizes and certificates.
“We had a great Summer Reading Challenge this year, and those who participated deserve a day of fun activities in recognition of their achievements. Through this effort, we hope that students territory-wide discover a love of reading that will stay with them throughout their lives,” Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a Government House statement.
During the event St. Croix Administrator Dodson James thanked students and their families for participating in the 2012 initiative and talked about the importance of reading and education as critical towards achieving success in later years. James also encouraged students “utilize the summer months as opportunities for learning, in addition to having fun.”
More than 500 students in the territory’s public and private schools participated in the 2012 reading challenge program.
Summer Reading Challenge closing ceremonies for the islands of St. Thomas and St. John will be held Saturday and Sunday.
The Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge is a partnership between the Governor's Office, the Virgin Islands Department of Education and the Virgin Islands Public Libraries.