Many children have become lost in the wonders of technology as such they are failing to make reading a priority. In an effort to spark children’s interest in reading, there was the launch of the Little Free Library. Many dignitaries and students were on hand to witness the launch, which may prove to be very beneficial to young lives. The nine free libraries are in the form of a kiosk, which will be installed throughout the city to make books accessible to children free of charge. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, in her address called on parents to be diligent in raising their children by ensuring that books and technology complement each other to enrich children’s lives.
Kim Simplis Barrow Special Envoy for Women and Children: “Reading is and has always been a fundamental function of a society, without it ideas become scarce, grammar and comprehensive levels fall, creativity and research decreases, an entire structure of a society begins to degrade. Relative statistics show within the past years the percentage of people who read for pleasure has fallen by 30%. As unfortunate as it may be the beauty in picking up a book and getting lost in the stories ideas and knowledge is slowly becoming a foreign experience to a child.
The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, was the keynote speaker for the occasion. In his address, he noted that the free libraries are a perfect example of education being everybody’s business.
Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: “Little free library , well while these libraries might be little, it’s a big deal, it’s a big thing and it can have a big impact on the lives of our children and even our adults and in fact can have a big impact on our little Belize. When we talk about free and normally when we hear the word free we believe that something cheap is involved, well what is going to be housed in these little free libraries is nothing cheap and in fact you have heard testimonies now of how what is going to be inside these little libraries can impact, have impacted the lives of any Belizean to the point that it helps them in their careers.”
Students who are already avid readers expressed sheer joy they get from reading a book.
Rayanna Charley First form student SCA: “As I grew older I realized that a library was the portal of books that could be very beneficial to my development as a student in terms of enhancing my vocabulary, helping my spelling, teaching me science and history, help my own creative and descriptive essays and expanding my education.”
Christian Enriquez Std. 5 Student: “Morning. It was Walter Dean Myers that said reading is not optional but why read. This morning I would like to share with you just a few points of what reading does for us as students. Point number, one you expose yourself to new things, reading teaches you to solve problems, you might find something you really like and choose it for a new career. Point number 2; self improvement, yes you may feel that you are good at something but connecting with the right book will make you even better at it. Point number 3; improve comprehension and understanding, have you ever gotten a new gadget and need to figure out how it works? Well thanks to reading you can now operate that new game by going through the written manual. Point number 4; experience from others, when you open a book you read about the experiences of others, someday you find yourself in that same situation and you remember how to deal with it.”
The Little Free Libraries will also be installed in the different districts.