New Islandwide Reading Initiative Challenge

Good news coming out of our senior high school as the English Department of The Berkeley Institute is about to embark on an interesting and exciting Island-wide Reading Initiative and they are inviting the Bermuda reading public to join them.

This dream project is themed ONE ISLAND, ONE BOOK, where the entire island reads the same book that the students are studying, then participate in activities associated with the chosen novel.

The novel GIRLCOTT, by Mrs. Florenz Webbe Maxwell, a member of The Progressive Group, has been chosen as the novel for the ONE ISLAND, ONE BOOK initiative. GIRLCOTT is historical, relevant, Bermudian, accessible and it is a novel that both youth and adults can read and enjoy. More excitingly, the author of GIRLCOTT lives among us.

The team at The Berkeley has planned several activities to accompany the novel. These activities will run from the month of February through early May. All of the activities are planned to be educational, fun and enjoyable to all participants. They will engage students as well as the larger community. They are meant to highlight the watershed event of 1959, the historical and social background of the novel, harness everyone’s creative energies, and give the general public the opportunity to interact with all of Bermuda’s students in a positive way.

Activities will include a round table discussion/interview where Berkeley students interact with surviving members of The Progressive Group, a ‘Women of the Future Day, a Short Film Festival and a GIRLCOTT (Back to the 50s ) Fair.
‘GIRLCOTT SEASON’ will culminate with a reception on 7th May 2022, during Bermuda’s Heritage Month, to honour Mrs. Maxwell as author of the popular novel.

Students, teachers and staff of The Berkeley Institute will commence the study of the text during February, 2022 as an introduction to Black History Month. At the same time the active reading activity subtitled ‘BERMUDA READS WITH BERKELEY’ will begin. All residents, parents, friends, family, and book lovers are encouraged to actively participate: to read the novel along with students, to join in the conversation, to interact with students and complete the associated published entertaining activities.

‘Bermuda Reads with Berkeley’ will run for eight weeks – during Black History Month and following in March. Weekly activities associated with the chapters of GIRLCOTT will be published in the local printed and electronic media. A special Facebook page entitled ‘One Island, One Book, The Berkeley Institute, Bermuda’ will be set up for the reading public to respond to the published activities. There will be a weekly prize drawn for Facebook participants.

Copies of GIRLCOTT can be purchased/ordered from The Bookmart in Hamilton. The Berkeley Institute is enthusiastic about this initiative. They are asking that the community will please join them as they look forward to immersing the whole of Bermuda in the joy and passion of the reading experience.
“Respice Finem”

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