Author gives copies of book to Aquinas College students
Patricia Glinton-Meicholas recently delivered a message of hope for the future through the gift of reading to students of Aquinas College. The author gifted every Aquinas student with a copy of her most recent publication, “Lusca and Other Fantastic Tales”.
During the presentation, Glinton-Meicholas and her husband, Neko Meicholas, imparted words of love and encouragement, imploring students to be thankful for the gifts God has given them and to give back to their community.
This book giveaway is not the first for Guanima Press, the boutique publisher and artist/design studio run by Neko Meicholas. From its inception Guanima Press has been committed to giving books to young Bahamians in an effort to foster an appreciation for books and excitement for learning. The Guanima Press Books for Students Project was Neko Meicholas’ brainchild, a product of a great desire to raise the levels of reading achievement among young Bahamians. It was he who asked his wife to write a book to support the undertaking. He told the assembled students, “This book is a gift to the young people of The Bahamas.”
What is unique about this latest Guanima initiative is that the author wrote “Lusca and Other Fantastic Tales” with the explicit purpose of providing it free of charge to as many students as possible throughout the archipelago. Glinton-Meicholas explained: “We are hoping to show the children of this country that we believe in them and love them. We want to let them know that the habit of reading can help them to achieve all their developmental endeavors. It can be a passport to success academically and otherwise.”
Aquinas College is the second school recipient of this generous gift of learning which is hoped to ignite in every recipient the spark of imagination. When asked why Aquinas College was at the top of the list as a stop for this book-giving tour, the Meicholas duo did not hesitate to respond: “We believe in Catholic education; we believe in what Aquinas accomplished in the past and what is being done in its present incarnation. And, quite frankly, we want to support Archbishop Patrick Pinder’s zeal for education; the director of Catholic education, Claudette Rolle, and Shona Knowles, principal, Aquinas College. These are people we admire greatly.”
“Ah, but the children!” That line is taken from “Lusca and Other Fantastic Tales”. It’s the beginning of a line by Lusca, one of the many mystical creatures in the book, expressing her immense love for the children and all their antics which fill her with joy. The author expressed the same sentiments of the character she created as she looked around the hall, inexplicably connecting with each of the 522 students, telling them, “I love each and every one of you. Although I have not had the chance to interact with each one of you personally, I love you.” At the end of the assembly, as Aquinas College students proudly clutched their copies of Glinton-Meicholas’ book and waited patiently in line for the author to autograph it, the reciprocation of love for the author and what she was doing was evident.
Christopher Curry, head boy, explained the impact the presentation had on him: “I liked that Mrs. Meicholas still has hope in young people; sometimes it feels as if most adults have given up on us. Mrs. Meicholas has not just presented a problem, the educational underachievement of young people, but she has come up with a solution to make a difference.”
The Aquinas College school body will read excerpts from the book daily over the PA system as a part of the school’s literacy initiative Sustained Silent Reading.
“I am profoundly grateful to the writer Patricia Meicholas and her husband, graphic artist Neko Meicholas for the gifting of copies of her latest book, “Lusca and Other Fantastic Tales”, to the students of Aquinas College”, stated Most Reverend Patrick C. Pinder, archbishop of Nassau. He added, “This latest work is sure to take its place alongside her now classic collection of Bahamian folktales, “An Evening in Guanima”. Being motivated to publish a collection of stories for young Bahamian students as a means of encouraging them to read more and thus improve national test scores is surely an act of public virtue on the part of the author, the graphic artist and the publisher. They have left us all very much in debt to them. For that we should all be very grateful.”