Gros Islet Pri­mary Wins Top Hon­ors in Grow Well’s Young Au­thor’s Com­pe­ti­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

An ex­cit­ing day for Gros Islet’s bud­ding au­thors and their spon­sors and sup­port­ers. It was Grow Well’s award pre­sen­ta­tion for the Young Au­thor’s short story com­pe­ti­tion in­volv­ing nine (9) pri­mary and sec­ondary schools in the Gros Islet Dis­trict. With a crowd of nearly 200 peo­ple at the Gros Islet Sec­ondary School in Beause­jour, the young stu­dents who par­tic­i­pated in the Young Au­thor’s com­pe­ti­tion were won­der­fully cel­e­brated. The au­di­ence in­cluded Her Ex­cel­lency Dame Pear­lette Louisy, par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Gros Islet Hon. Emma Hip­polyte, and No­bel Lau­re­ate, Sir Derek Wal­cott, as well as other ma­jor spon­sors, prin­ci­pals and teach­ers. A to­tal of eigh­teen prizes were awarded and the top three win­ners in each cat­e­gory were: Brit­ney Man­gal, Gros Islet Pri­mary School, Jaden Philip, Gros Islet Pri­mary Schoool and Devyne Cadette, Bonne Terre Prep High School.

Although slightly ner­vous when read­ing their win­ning short sto­ries to the large au­di­ence, the chil­dren were awe in­spired by the pos­i­tive at­ten­tion and feed­back from such a dis­tin­guished au­di­ence. “I couldn’t speak. I was frozen. I couldn’t be­lieve it. So I de­cided I wouldn’t look in the Gover­nor Gen­eral’s di­rec­tion,” re­ported one pri­mary school stu­dent to Gros Islet prin­ci­pal Paula St. Luce. Mrs. St. Luce’s school gar­nered 11 prizes out of the to­tal of 18. She ac­cepted Grow Well’s Hon­ors Award for the most en­tries (62) from any school in the dis­trict. And that prize was $1,500.

Prin­ci­pal St. Luce was asked by the Grow Well’s em­cee for the event, Ro­tary Club Pres­i­dent Judy Deter­ville, how she in­tended to spend “all that money”, and she re­sponded im­me­di­ately that she would bet­ter equip the school’s kitchen to serve healthy, nu­tri­tious lunch meals that her chil­dren would find ap­pe­tiz­ing. “Gros Islet Pri­mary School loves Grow Well”, she ended to loud ap­plause.

A high­light of the evening was the singing trib­ute by Grow Well girls and boys to the evening’s hon­oree Dame Pear­lette Louisy, a catchy new song with lyrics by Colleen New­man, melody by Gene Lawrence and di­rected by Angie Montoute.

“We wanted to thank Her Ex­cel­lency for her love of coun­try and de­vo­tion to ed­u­ca­tion,” said Grow Well Pres­i­dent Paul Lorde. “Dame Pear­lette is the ideal em­bod­i­ment for Grow Well’s theme for its 20th year of ser­vice to youth in the Gros Islet com­mu­nity— 20 years of vol­un­teerism, car­ing and shar­ing. The gover­nor gen­eral in­spires us,” Lorde added. Win­ning chil­dren were also in­spired by the prizes they earned: 9 Kin­dle Fire HD tablets, com­plete with a gen­er­ous voucher to buy e-books on­line; real books by lo­cal au­thors, vouch­ers to buy school sup­plies, and en­ter­tain­ment vouch­ers for Rain­for­est tram rides, Zip Lines, Seg­way tours and other at­trac­tions. Grow Well singers also won food store vouch­ers which would make any par­ent happy.

Grow Well thanks its many spon­sors for this event in­clud­ing its found­ing and con­tin­u­ing spon­sor the Ro­tary Club of Gros Islet; Domino’s Pizza; Gems Multi­graph­ics; Harry Ed­wards Jew­el­ers; IGY Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina; Jeremiah Jonas of Hotep En­ter­prises; Amy Ber­glund; Claire Nar­doni; Colleen and Alan New­man; Craig and Sue Ber­ring­ton; Frank and Heather Heaps; John and Dra­gana Kennedy.

Grow Well’s Young Au­thors and Chil­dren’s Choir found enor­mous plea­sure in re­ceiv­ing nu­mer­ous books de­liv­ered by lo­cal au­thors in­clud­ing Cor­nell Charles, June Fred­er­ick, Therold Pru­dent and many more from the Cul­tural Devel­op­ment Foun­da­tion and the Folk Re­search Cen­tre. FRC direc­tor Robert Lee said au­thors were en­thused about Grow Well’s project and only too happy to en­cour­age young writ­ers. He or­ga­nized books from Dawn French; Rudy Gur­ley; Rose Hip­polyte; Ken­del Hip­polyte; Jane King; Robert Lee; Lam­bert St. John and Travis Weekes among oth­ers.

Many at­tend­ing said they hope to see this ex­cit­ing ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural Grow Well project spread from com­mu­nity to com­mu­nity through­out the is­land. Some chil­dren were not so sure… not sure about shar­ing the spot­light. But on re­flec­tion they agreed the Gover­nor Gen­eral would want more and more Grow Wells through­out the coun­try. Yes, help­ing to ed­u­cate and pro­mote youth through in­ter­est­ing af­ter­school ac­tiv­i­ties is a good idea! The Win­ners List Un­der 10s 1. Brit­ney Man­gal, Gros Islet Pri­mary School 2. Kelsey Henry Gros Islet Pri­mary School 3. Nathan Eti­enne Gros Islet Pri­mary School 10-13 1. Jaden Philip, Gros Islet Pri­mary Schoool 2. Hanzel Butcher Gros Islet Pri­mary School 3. Aimee Verneuil Dame Pear­lette Louisy Pri­mary School 14 – 18 1. Devyne Cadette, Bonne Terre Prep High School 2. Kishma Wil­lie, Corinth Sec­ondary School 3. Princess Wil­son, Corinth Sec­ondary School HIGHLY COM­MENDED Un­der 10s Richella Ru­fus, Gros Islet Pri­mary School Ed­dica Chiquot Gros Islet Pri­mary School Norissa Benjamin, Gros Islet Pri­mary School 10 – 13 Jowen Smith, Bab­boneau Sec­ondary School Obe­diah Phillip, Gros Islet Pri­mary School Anya Len­nie, Gros Islet Pri­mary School Abigail Mitchel, Gros Islet Pri­mary School Veacha De­vaux, The In­ter­na­tional School 14 – 18 Chancy Fon­tenelle, The In­ter­na­tional School

Win­ner of the 10 - 13 cat­e­gory Jaden Phillip.

Derek Wal­cott with Paul Lorde and young choir singer.

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