Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL NEWS -

It will al­ways be a good theme: “Read to Suc­ceed.” re­mem­ber read­ing an in­ter­view with the girl who topped the list of all West In­dian stu­dents in one year’s CXC ex­ams. When she was asked what she thought ac­counted for her out­stand­ing suc­cess, she didn’t go into a long ex­pla­na­tion of how well she had been taught at school or how hard she had stud­ied, though I am sure these were im­por­tant fac­tors in her suc­cess. She sim­ply said that she had done well be­cause she had grown to love read­ing when she was very young and had read a lot ever since and she thought that had formed her mind the right way.

That was an ex­cel­lent an­swer. First of all, read­ing tunes the mind for suc­cess in a child’s ed­u­ca­tional ca­reer and then, later, in the work he or she pur­sues in life. I have of­ten said that if you check the top stu­dents in the CXC ex­ams, in any sub­ject, you will find, for sure, that they all en­joy read­ing and read a lot – not just their school books but books in gen­eral. Read­ing pre­pared their minds for suc­cess.

This is some­thing worth em­pha­sis­ing – read­ing pre­pares the mind to think in­tel­li­gently and to ex­press in­for­ma­tion and ideas in an or­derly and un­der­stand­able man­ner. Read­ing makes for suc­cess in life not just be­cause through read­ing you ab­sorb knowl­edge, which is use­ful in pass­ing ex­ams or in do­ing jobs well. Per­haps even more im­por­tantly read­ing forms the mind, gives it a clear think­ing abil­ity, and shapes a child’s in­tel­li­gence, so that the child who reads can use his or her in­born men­tal abil­i­ties more ef­fec­tively than the child who does not read. In chil­dren of equal in­tel­li­gence, the child who loves read­ing will al­ways do bet­ter than the one who has not learnt to en­joy books.

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