The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd’s enthusiasm spilled over to the primary school students as they listened to him read the ‘Hard Head Bird’ and ‘Why a Rainbow Comes After the Rain’ from the book, “Once Below a Time: Bahamian Stories” by Telcine Turner. The Education Minister demonstrated his teaching abilities as he drilled the students — asking the names of the stories and authors, encouraging them to listen and remember, and requesting definitions of words during one of the events of Literacy/Parents’ Month, which is recognized in February.
The fourth and fifth grade boys and girls of Thelma Gibson School, along with their teachers, eagerly listened as Minister Lloyd read aloud with accuracy, expression and appropriate intonation. They sat on the edges of their seats beckoning to the Minister with hopes of being selected to answer the questions that followed and which tested their memory, comprehension, spelling and sometimes math skills. His antics, actions, creativity and wit brought smiles and loud laughter to the children’s faces. Minister Lloyd was “glad” to participate in the activity.
“I need to be with my favorite people — our children especially in terms of reading which is something that our parents should do every night with the younger ones. We want them to have a sense of not only to being able to listen, but to recall and to interpret their own circumstances so that they can give an analysis of what they have heard. The earlier they begin — it teaches them how to think — the better for them.” Although he did not select the book from which he also read to sixth grade students, Minister Lloyd said it was an “excellent” choice with Bahamian stories that reflect Bahamian circumstances. The objective of Literacy Month, which has been incorporated with Parents’ Month, is to improve the students’ reading proficiency, increase the school’s reading comprehension level from 82% to 87% by June 2019, and increase awareness and accountability of parents’ roles in the students’ achievements.
Georgia Robinson, Senior Mistress, highlighted a ‘Readathon,’ which the students are presently participating in. She said the purpose of the Readathon is to encourage reading literacy for pleasure. “Reading should not only be for school work, but reading should also be pleasurable for enjoyment,” she said.