Students ages eight and nine from primary schools around the island are getting ready to participate in the preliminary rounds of the Courts Schools Reading Competition. The competition is being held in conjunction with the Ministry of Education. The Launch which was held at the Micoud Primary School on Wednesday, September 26 and hosted by the principal of that school, Annibertha Dantes. In attendance was the district representative Gail Rigobert and the Ministry of Education’s curriculum specialist for language arts Angella Mariatte, Courts OECS director of marketing, Lorraine Sidonie, principals of the primary and secondary schools in district five, employees of Courts and the teachers and students of the Micoud Primary School, including last year’s winner Abigail Francis. Lorraine Sidonie gave a detailed breakdown of the competition format, the fact that the competition is the brainchild of the Dominica Broadcasting Station and the amazing prizes to be won at the National and OECS finals. The winner of the St Lucia leg of the competition will receive $2000 in Cash and $2000 for the winning School. All participants at the OECS finals will receive a cash prize plus a laptop. The winner will also walk away with an additional $5000 and the winning school will receive $5000 as well. Annibertha Dantes welcomed the gathering to the launch on behalf of the school. She thanked Courts for the opportunity and encouraged students to read as they too could represent St Lucia at the OECS finals, as Abigail Francis of that school, did a year ago in St Kitts. Also speaking to the gathering was Gail Rigobert. She praised Courts for launching such an excellent initiative that promotes literacy. She provided words of encouragement to students; educating them on the benefits of reading and asking them to take up reading as a pastime. The Courts St Lucia Reading Competition finals will be held in October at the National Cultural Centre. The winner of St Lucia’s competition will be representing the country at the OECS finals to be held in Dominica in November. Courts is extremely honoured to be working directly with the Ministry of Education, its officials and the principals, teachers and students of primary schools around St Lucia to bring this exciting, constructive competition to the country’s youth. Courts’ officials stated that the ultimate aim is to promote the joys and benefits of literacy, given the undeniable connection between a country’s growth and development and its level of literacy.