The Keke and Me Reading & Poetry Competition is the brainchild of the Reading with Bella Company (RWB), publisher of the Keke the Caribbean Kid Book Series. The book series was launched on February 21st, 2020 and was held to much acclaim by the Grenadian public. The accomplishment was also recognised by the OECS Secretariat through an online publication regarding the release of the book “Keke and the Garden Thief”. The first book in the series, “Keke and the Garden Thief” can be purchased in e-book or paperback format from Amazon.com, making it widely available for locals and persons in the region and diaspora alike. The book is also available on Island at the cost of $35 EC and can be obtained by placing orders via the messenger section of the Facebook page Kekekidz.
The COVID – 19 pandemic presented an opportunity to encourage literacy among the nation’s children who were asked to exercise social distancing and remain at home. This competition sought to provide a much-needed wholesome avenue to our nation’s children to channel their creative energies. As a result, the reading and poetry competition emerged.
The competition encouraged children between the ages of 7-10 to submit two videos. The first was a lively reading of the book, “Keke and the Garden Thief”, and the second was a performance of their own poetry presentation.
Sapphire Alexander Raeburn, daughter of Shirley Ann Alexander and Chrispine Raeburn, did a magnificent job of reading the prescribed text and performing her poem titled, “My Friend, Toad.” Sapphire resides at Mt. Fendue, St. Patrick, and attends the St. Patrick Anglican Primary School. Her passion for reading and writing poems is evident. Her interest in the arts also spills over to her love for singing and dancing. Even at the tender age of 8, she aspires to become a doctor specializing in gynecology.
Ahron Paul achieved the second-place position. He is currently attending the St. Joseph’s R. C. Primary School situated at Morne Jaloux, St. George’s. Ahron is an avid video game player and enjoys running, swimming and socializing with his peers. He is well-spoken for his age and has a passion for reading. His original poetry piece is titled “The voice of a little black boy.” His goal when he grows up is to open a shelter to assist the homeless and the less fortunate.
The competition highlights the budding talent and intellect of our young student population, and we encourage parents to continue fostering the creative talents and abilities of their children.
The RWB team appreciates and applauds the parents and students who have participated in this competition. Also, the RWB team would like to specially thank the judges who evaluated the entries, Ms. Shawnna Cuffie, Ms. Nathifa St. Louis-Lewis and Ms. Chioma Paul. Our heartfelt thanks to Ariza Credit Union, who sponsored the $250 US Amazon Gift Card and saw the benefit that the initiative would have on our young student population, thus underscoring their commitment to empowering the community in creative ways.
The RWB team will continue to make a valuable contribution to the literacy of the children in Grenada, the diaspora and the world, through the production of literature and tools for reading and writing development. The team looks forward to the release of its newest book – “Keke goes to Belmont Estate”, which is set to be launched in August!!