GREAT BAY, St. Martin (June 1, 2018)—The ribbon-cutting ceremony to declare the St. Martin Book Fair open on June 1, 2018, was performed by primary school winners of the “Letter and Essay Writing Competition,” said competition organizer Rochelle “Faizah” Ward.

The St. Maarten Seven-day Adventist School student Makeela Isaac won first place in the primary school “letter division,” said Ward. “Nicholas Russo and Charriol Halley of the St. Maarten Montessori School tied for the second place prize,” said Ward.

“The first place winner in the high school essay division is Vanessa Saint-Hilaire of St. Dominic High School. Amoya Menzie of the St. Maarten Academy-Academic placed second,” said Ward.

The island-wide writing competition with a unique twist of linking hair care, self-esteem, and school pride was organized by Don’t Break the Comb (DBC), the Natural Hair Lifestyle brand of which Ward is the owner.

“Both students and teachers of primary schools and high schools from both parts of the island were eligible to participate in the writing competition,” said Ward.
“The first place winner in the teacher division is Marianne Tefft, Head Teacher, Upper Elementary at the Sint Maarten Montessori School. The second place prize went to Tracy Holness, a fourth grade teacher at the Methodist Agogic Center,” said Ward.

“I was pleased with the turnout” from the schools, said Ward. “The letters and essays were quite enjoyable to read. Congratulations to the winners. Many thanks to the participants,” said Ward. The winning prizes were also presented by Ward during the opening night of the literary festival.

The teachers and students of all participating schools, the prize winners and their families were invited by DBC to the Opening Ceremony of the 16th annual St. Martin Book Fair at Motorworld Showroom in Cole Bay, to enjoy the literary program and to witness the ribbon-cutting with the competition winners, said Ward. The students performed the ribbon-cutting honors alongside a young author who was also invited by the book fair to be part of the ceremony.