This morning, the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners of the National Library Service’s (NLS) Children’s Essay Competition entitled “Barbados a Republic – What it means to me”, were awarded their prizes.
Out of the 33 entries submitted, 15 year-old K’shon Taitt of the Lodge School emerged as the Gold award winner, and received $2,500.00 for her winning essay.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, John King, expressed pleasure in seeing young people displaying knowledge in a subject matter of national importance, and challenged the NLS to publish a book with the entries submitted.
“I believe viewpoints expressed on matters such as this, lay the foundation for those coming after us to do even more in terms of which direction we want our country to go, what direction will we take [in] the Caribbean and how do we impact on the rest of the world. It starts, first of all, with us being able to understand these processes and what they mean….
“It was important, in this particular competition, that we get our young people involved in understanding a lot of these things that can become complex at some point [and] in some areas, and that the viewpoints of our young persons are expressed in a manner that the wider community has access to; so that we’re able to impact not only our own lives but the generations of those coming after us.”
Winner, K’shon Taitt, in her acceptance speech, stated: “I am excited and extremely honoured…. Standing here today, this achievement reminds me that hard work really does pay off and you should always strive for excellence no matter the intensity of the act.”
Ms. Taitt noted that in preparing the essay she learned what it means to have a republican government and as a result, has gained the ability to educate others about the major step which Barbados has taken; one she appreciates and values. She assured those present that she will utilise all opportunities to share what she has learned on the topic.
Receiving the Silver award of $1,500.00 was 15 year-old Woletta Israel Yaicob of Harrison College; while 16 year-old Kiahra Legall of Queen’s College, was awarded Bronze and presented with a cheque of $1,000.00 for her entry.
Official judge of the essay competition, historian Trevor Marshall, praised the participants for the high quality of the essays, which he said showed considerable depth and understanding of the topic.
The competition was open to students aged 14-17, who were required to submit a 2,500-word essay on the topic, “Barbados a Republic – What it means to me“.
Prize money was donated by the Barbados Public Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union Limited (BPWCCUL) and its Chief Operating Officer, Richard Kennedy, pointed out that his organisation was particularly excited to partner with the NLS for the essay competition on such a historic topic.