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MAPP: ‘Big Celebration Party’ For Public Students Who Complete Reading Challenge

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – The Virgin Islands Department of Education in partnership with the Office of the Governor announces the launch of the 10th Annual Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge, which runs Monday, June 4 through Friday, September 2, 2018.

The annual activity challenges students in grades K-6 to read five or more books during the summer in an effort to boost students’ literacy skills. It is also a national initiative which draws participation from governors across all 50 states and territories. Virgin Islands students will receive a packet including two books, tracking sheets and a letter from Governor Kenneth Mapp encouraging students to participate. All books included are written and illustrated by Virgin Islands or Caribbean authors—a unique feature of this year’s Challenge.

In his letter to students, Governor Mapp encouraged students to read a variety of books.

“Read books on different subjects and let your mind take you to distant shores to meet people and visit places found only in your imagination,” he stated.

This year, five new titles have also been introduced to the Summer Reading Challenge: “Giraffe Hears the Drums,” “The Vienna Cake Mystery,” “Where I Live,” “Broo ‘Nansi and Sis Iwana” and “Dolphins of the Caribbean.”

Education Commissioner Sharon Ann McCollum expressed her excitement for the challenge.

“The Department of Education is excited to bring new books to the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge,” McCollum said. “We are urging parents to keep our young readers engaged. This is an excellent and enjoyable way to bring learning to a level of fun that entertains and enhances skills.”

At the end of the summer, students who successfully complete the Challenge will be invited to attend the “Big Celebration” party hosted by Governor Mapp.

For more information on the 10th Annual Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge, visit

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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