Press Release

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports
Release Date:
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 - 3:15pm

Fourteen year old Miss Mayowa Williams is the recipient of the BVI Reading Council’s (BVIRC) 2015 Literacy Award.

Mayowa, a student at Valley Day School in Virgin Gorda, was chosen as this year’s recipient after overcoming learning difficulties and challenges with reading.

An award ceremony was held at the Governor’s House on Friday where His Excellency, Governor John Duncan, OBE congratulated the teen recipient and empathised with her challenges given his struggles as a dyslexic. Governor Duncan and his wife Mrs. Anne Marie Duncan serve as the new Patron of the BVIRC.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture, Dr. Marcia Potter thanked Co-President of the BVIRC Mrs. H. Lynden Smith for her commitment towards fulfilling the mandate of the council, and she praised Mayowa’s principal, Ms. Jan Morash for her hard work at the school with all of the students who have achieved success over the years.

Dr. Potter said many students are still not reading at their grade level and reading and literacy continues to be at the forefront of the ministry’s agenda.  

Council Patron, Mrs. Duncan urged Mayowa to continue to work hard and never give up. She said, “We all have our challenges…You’ve had huge challenges and you should be very proud of how far you have come.”

Principal of Valley School, Ms. Jan Morash spoke of Mayowa’s journey and how she has changed from being very shy to now being more outspoken since being introduced to reading. She said, “Literacy isn’t simply about reading, but the ability to transform life.”

The 2015 Literacy Award recipient shared her difficulties with reading stating, “Reading and writing was hard for me, for years, I just couldn’t do it. I started to believe that I could never be able to read.”

Mayowa said her teachers assisted with her reading for two hours every day and she now writes stories every weekend and shares them in class the following week. “Everyone started to believe in me,” she said, adding, “And you know what – I believe in me too!”

The BVI Reading Council was established as a non-profit, voluntary, professional organisation with a mandate to foster the love of reading throughout the Territory. The council works alongside the Ministry of Education and Culture to fulfill its mandate. The first BVIRC Literacy Award was given in 2002.

The Ministry of Education and Culture is committed to creating a “Culture of Excellence” in all the Territory’s educational institutions. 


April Glasgow

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations
Phone: (284) 468-2730