There is no such thing as a child who doesn’t love to read–that child just hasn’t found the right book.” Well, apparently I haven’t found the right one yet. In a conversation with Rick Wayne, my dear employer, I tried to explain to him that I do not read as much as I should, but instead I said, “I do not read.” A mistake I am increasingly regretting each day.
One person who would definitely receive the admiration of Mr. Wayne is Dmitri Valmont, a form two student of the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School Campus A.
Dmitri Valmont is 13 years old and lives at Cannelles, Vieux Fort. The young man, who surprisingly claims that he barely has use for his glasses, tells us his incredible story.
“It all started when I was four years old. My aunt gave me a book called ‘The Firebird Rocket,’ which is a Hardy Boys book, and through gradually learning to read it, I just started to love reading. I have a whole bookshelf at home filled with books and I have read all,” says Dmitri.
Dmitri admits that he enjoys reading fiction, but he says that he also reads all different types of books, and the manager of the school’s Learning and Resource Centre (LRC) attests to that. His favorite books are the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew collections.
Funny enough, Dmitri claims that with all the fancy phones and sophisticated gadgets that are now in abundance, he does not permit them to be a distraction to him.
“They don’t stop me from reading. I have a tablet but I don’t use it to read, just
to watch videos and stuff,” he said.
On first mention of Dmitri, it was said that he borrows five books a day from the LRC. In conversing, he explained that he actually does but he doesn’t read all of them though. Being so enthused with reading, he borrows five books each day and reads at least three! He borrows another five the following day adding to the previous that he hasn’t read, that way he always has books to read. Obsession wouldn’t you say?
Manager of the school’s Learning and Resource Centre Jeanne Lawrence has great admiration for her student.
“Dmitri is very well behaved, very excited about learning and knowledgeable about many things because of his reading. You can ask him about any subject and
he is able to tell you a lot; and he asks very intelligent questions.”
“He comes to the LRC before school, breaktime, lunchtime, after school, during ‘free periods’, any chance he gets. He takes all the books that he can and at times I have to say to him “no, I’m only giving you five today, or three, or you have from yesterday that you’ve not returned. The teachers are amazed and are yet to come up with a theory as to how he does it. Whether he scans or reads, but I believe he reads,” related Lawrence.
I asked Lawrence whether she queries Dmitri’s reading habit, probably to ask him for a brief summary of each of the books he claims to have read.
“Its not something that he has been forced into doing, from the time he came to the school, that has been ‘him’. So I believe and trust that he actually reads all the books. Any other students I would ask but I know that Dmitri has a passion for reading,” she confirmed.
Expressing knowledge on a variety of things, Dmitri states he isn’t even sure what he may pursue when he concludes his schooling, but he would like to venture into the sciences.
“I would love to be an author, maybe a travel agent, I’m not really sure yet,” he chuckles.
Dmitri says that in exams he is currently averaging in the seventies, and he is determined to break into the eighties and nineties, and see how far he can aspire to.
Lawrence declares that she is honoured to have a student who is so engaged in reading.
“At first it was very bothersome because I felt like I was being stalked. He’s always in the library and whenever I am not there he makes it his duty to find me. But now I have gotten used to that and when I don’t see him I am now asking for him. So its wonderful having him around,” Lawrence added.
Dmitri had this advice to offer all persons:
“Well, I’m not trying to force others to read, but if you just pick up one book you might like it. Look for something that you’re interested in, continue to read books that are about your interests, and gradually you will move on to other types of books. Then that will grow into a love for reading.”