Children are still captivated by reading in spite of a rise in technology, a women’s society member said yesterday.
Nina Jacobs, president of the Bermuda Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, said that she saw a sustained interest in books despite the prevalence of phones.
She spoke after the sorority’s 20th Annual Children’s Reading Festival that took place in Victoria Park on Saturday.
Ms Jacobs said: “Recently, within the last five to eight years, parents have been looking for a reason to get their children away from technology and just go back to our first form of entertainment.”
The event was attended by about 2,000 children, parents and caretakers who spent the day reading with one another.
Ms Jacobs said that the festival held storytelling booths, fun castles and classes for parents about how to keep children engaged with reading.
She added that the sorority donated almost 2,000 children’s books to attendees. Ms Jacobs said that the festival was started to encourage parents to involve their children with reading at a young age.
But she added that a rise of technology has made it difficult to keep children engaged with literacy.
Ms Jacobs explained: “We went through a period where the kids were all about technology and it was hard to get them outside because they didn’t want to do anything but play on the video games.
“So we’ve had other motivations to try to say ‘you have to still push your kids to read’.
“We’re still very much in that technology-based world where kids enjoy being on games and social media.
“While they’re very savvy in that regard they still need the basics.”
Despite this, Ms Jacobs said that the Children’s Reading Festival has seen a level attendance over the past 20 years.
She added: “This year we’ve had parents that have said ‘my kids grew up here in this park. They’ve been coming to the reading festival since they were tiny — they love it and they love to come pick out book.’
“I think we’ve generated and maintained that level of excitement in our events over these 20 years and that was the objective.”