Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Secretary General of the BVI National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Allison Flax-Archer recently visited students at the Bregado Flax and Robinson O’Neal Primary Schools on Virgin Gorda.
Dr. Flax-Archer’s visit was part of activities to commemorate World Poetry Day observed on March 21 and World Book and Copyright Day that will be celebrated on April 24.
World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanities most treasured forms of culture, while World Book and Copyright Day promotes reading, writing, publishing and copyright.
Dr. Flax-Archer said the BVI National Commission saw it fit, for the first time in history to merge these two significant days on UNESCO’s calendar.
She stated that the visit to these schools focused on the importance of ‘World Book and Copyright Day’ which promotes that books are both object and idea tangible in form, intangible in content; and they express the mind of an author and find meaning in the imagination of readers.
Dr. Flax-Archer said, “Reading is this private conversation, but books are all about sharing experiences, knowledge and understanding. It means being able to write your feelings which are the most powerful form of dialogue between individuals, within communities, between generations and with other societies”.
According to Dr. Archer, the unique approach of dialogue between readers and books must be protected. She said even though the technology of books is old, it remains cutting-edge, functional and in some conditions irreplaceable, as they provide the strongest signs of hope and are pillars for free and open societies.
She added, “When technology fails as a pastime as it did during hurricanes Irma and Maria, we can always read or write a book.”
The visits to the schools were a collaborative effort between local poet, former educator and author, Dr. Patricia Turnbull who read to students of both schools and also presented to the students her newly published book, ‘Tikoko and Kush Kush”.
The BVI National Commission for UNESCO continues to celebrate both World Poetry Day and World Book and Copyright Day until the end of May to highlight the significance of books, reading and writing.