The contest is organized by the regional retail company, COURTS, which has collaborated with Ministries of Education in the sub-region to implement the project.
Through their participation in the competition, students are expected to enhance their reading skills while also improving on their abilities in public speaking and building self confidence.
The initiative is a project that was started in Dominica and was recommended to Courts OECS for their financial and other support. This is the third year of the contest which last year was won by St. Kitts and Nevis. Jendayi Omawale of the Tucker Clarke Primary was the winner of the 2010 St. Kitts and Nevis contest and thereafter went on to capture the regional title, defeating participants from the other OECS territories.
This year, St. Kitts and Nevis is being represented by Ricardo Rodriguez, a student at the Belle Vue International School in Nevis.
Rodriguez qualified to represent his country following the national phase of the contest that was launched here on 21st September, involving some 33 schools within the federation.
The contest seeks to target students between the ages 8-9 years old and is also intended to encourage children to become excited about reading, said one official.
The winner of the OECS contest will receive, among other prizes, EC$5,000. A similar prize money will be paid to the school of the winner. All finalists are to be given laptops and cash prizes.
When the OECS contest was launched in 2009, St. Kitts and Nevis was represented by Tucker Clarke student, Kadeema Blanchette.