Bookland, formerly, the Georgetown Reading and Research Centre, has refined its literacy mission started two years ago of getting books into every household, to the more specific objective: ‘Getting Books in Every Household by January 2017,’ according to its director Rupert Hopkinson.
In a release, Hopkinson noted that 2017 will also mark 20 years of the organisation’s work and disclosed that to promote its new mission, Bookland will be offering 30% to 50% discounts on all books, and will give three to 20 books free with purchases of more than $1,000. He hopes that some of the free books will be donated to others, particularly to those in the hinterland areas, so they can own books and therefore read more.
“I believe that books in the home create an academically enabling environment, particularly for children. Children must grow up seeing books around them. This belief is partly framed from my own experiences. I believe books in the homes are psychological preparations for education,” said the director.
Hopkinson said that the project aimed to help create and maintain that enabling environment in the home that can help young children to be always inquisitive, exploring, discovering and developing early interest in reading and, by extension, education.
According to the release, the director had received letters of support for his work from former minister of education, the late Dr Dale Bisnauth and the Office of the President in 1997, welcoming the organisation’s contribution to the literacy campaign. It had been also commended by the Ministry of Education (June, 2010), for its continued effort to encourage Guyanese, especially children, to read by providing reading material at an affordable price and for creating an environment “most conducive to the promotion of literacy, a major focus of the Ministry of Education.”
Hopkinson has written to the current Minister of Education, applauding the ministry’s accomplishments in enhancing literacy and seeking the ministry’s continued support for his organisation’s work.
Georgetown Reading & Research Centre was established in January 2, 1997, originally as a library. With the new name, Bookland, the organisation, now located on a 38,000 sq ft complex at the corner of Woolford Avenue and Albert Street, Thomas Lands, has a garden and play park where persons can also sit and read under the benabs.
The director disclosed that Bookland has recently developed another income stream to help fund its work in enhancing literacy. It now hosts social events on its lawns and garden.