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Young Readers Enjoy "Magic" Day with DeJonghs

Gov. John deJongh Jr. and wife, Cecile, host summer reading challenge participants aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship on St. Thomas Wednesday (Courtesy Government House).Students from St. Thomas and St. Croix, along with their parents or guardians, spent a day aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship this week with Gov. John deJongh Jr. to celebrate their summer reading accomplishments.

The 10 students, all participants in the governor’s Summer Reading Challenge, were selected randomly for a special congratulatory luncheon aboard the ship, which came to St. Croix on Tuesday and St. Thomas on Wednesday. Each student read 20 or more books during the reading challenge, according to a recent press release.

"With this program, our goal was to encourage students territory-wide to read more as an educational activity," deJongh said in a statement Wednesday. "Although the challenge was to read five or more books, these students went above and beyond that benchmark. It was important to recognize their accomplishments and reward their achievements in a unique and special way."

On Tuesday, Merlin Sarah Valery, Charles B. Valery, Caldena Louisa Blake, Chrystal Angelic George, Mireille O. Sankatsing-Smith and Mikaela Sharifa-Joyce joined deJongh and Education Commissioner LaVerne Terry aboard the Disney Magic on St. Croix.

On Wednesday, Cecile deJongh and Assistant Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory joined the celebration, bringing Myroon S. Hosein, Sumaiyah-Nadira Richardson, Pamela A. Raymond, Diarra A. Raymond, Delta Matthews and Diantha I.M. Matthews aboard the ship on St. Thomas for the congratulatory luncheon.
The 2009 Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge was a joint effort between the Governor’s Office, the Education Department and Learn-It Systems Corp., which donated 200,000 books to the program for participating students.

The governor said he looks forward to bringing the program back next year.

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