He was one of two boys making it to the final round of the Courts OECS reading competition, and now he will be the first male student to represent Grenada in the regional competition when it is held in St Lucia.
Seven of the nation’s best readers gathered at the Grenada Boys Secondary School for the finals of the Courts OECS Reading Competition on last week Friday. After a narrative and a news piece, Dean Bedeau, of Bonair Government School in St. Mark’s emerged as the island’s top reader with a total of 273 points.
Second was Canaa James of First Choice Junior School with 245 points and Erin Gilbert of St. Louis R. C. Girls School in St. George’s South placed third with 244 points. Bedeau’s win marks the first time, in five years, that a boy has won the Courts Reading Competition in Grenada.
Mr. Deleon Walters, Organizer of the event in Grenada and Courts Representative, commented on the poor representation of boys among the winners of the competition.
“Since this programme has started I continue to say we have a very, very special situation on our hands; and that is the boys. If you look at the four winners who went on to represent Grenada, all girls. Today, we have seven finalists here; two boys. For some reason we are not seeing the boys laying that role in the reading competition and I ask myself why.”
Mr. Walters also spoke on the important role that parents play, along with teachers, in the education of children.
“I look forward to this competition every year to see the students from each district, the seven districts, come out and read. This is something special and I want to say a special thanks to the teachers, the district coordinators, the parents because it starts with the home. It is not the job of the teacher to teach your child to read, you need to start that platform. You need to prepare your child for [reading].”
Mrs. Denyse Hypolite Brathwaite, Curriculum Development Officer for Literacy in the Ministry of Education, commented on the fact that many of the past Reading Competition winners have also gone on to also win prizes for prose. “Good readers make good writers,” Mrs. Brathwaite said.
Past winners of the event; Malikah Bain, Rache Bowen, Carina Blache and Naturi Smith were in attendance to share their knowledge and give comments and tips on how to succeed as a reader.
Dean Bedeau received EC$2,000 for his prize and will go on to represent Grenada in the Courts Unicomer OECS Reading Competition in St. Lucia on 17 October 2013.