April 27, 2017, will go down as a red-letter day in the history of the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA). This day signaled the launch of a publication from the organization’s Education Department. Entitled, NCC Champions Write, this collection, of literary pieces written by students from Seventh-day Adventist schools within the North Caribbean Conference, includes original essays, short stories, poems and a skit.
In giving a background to the project, Mrs. Gerene Joseph, Education Director of the NCC, and whose brain-child the book was, noted that the students have left indelible marks on the world of writing by their contributions to the book. She commended the students for their efforts, complimented Tara Serrant and Ke’Anna President for illustrating the book, and [thanked] Mikael Royer for his concept for the cover. She expressed the hope that this project will be the first of many such projects.
Administrators and departmental directors from the NCC, members of the clergy, government officials, teachers, parents, students and well-wishers comprised the august audience who were present to witness the book-launch.
Dr. Magdalene Tobias, one of the endorsers of the book, in her congratulatory remarks, noted that, “Of all the academic tasks, writing is the most difficult. You have to come up with the idea and put it in writing. You have to draw on skills such as language structure, in order that the readers would enjoy reading what you write. For students to produce this quality of work, they have to be commended.”
Present at the book launch was Senator “Positive” Terrence A. Nelson, Minority Leader of the 32nd Legislature of the Virgin Islands. Senator Nelson posited that publishing is important. It is taking the word and putting it on paper to pass on to generations. He admonished the students: “Let this be the catalyst to take you into the future. You are a great example for other schools to follow.”
In conveying congratulatory remarks, Dr. Hamil Tobias, principal, complimented the students and teachers for a job well done. He noted that writing has become a “way of life” at the school, since several students have written and published books, previously.
Pastor Silton Browne, President of the NCC, and the one who wrote the foreword of the book, delivered the Feature Address at the launch. He lauded the vision of the education director in conceiving the project and her commitment to seeing it to fruition. The students came in for high praises from the president, as well, as he voiced the significant impact that the book has had on him. He noted that, “This compilation reflects more than their writing well and composing beautiful poetry – we get insights into the impact of parents and teachers on these young people.”
Each young writer was presented with a medal and certificate of participation and some of them had the privilege of reading their piece to the highly appreciative audience. Afterwards, persons who purchased the book had the opportunity to have the students autograph their book.
There will be similar launches of the book on St. Thomas, St. Eustatius, Tortola and St Maarten, since students from Seventh-day Adventist schools on these islands also contributed to the book. Proceeds from the sale of NCC Champions Write will go toward a Scholarship Fund.