#Nassau, December 13, 2018 – Bahamas – The year just keeps getting better for new, young author Sierra Blair – her latest release appearing in the iconic Atlantis resort, a courtesy call with the Governor-General and now days away from her 15th birthday, high praise from high-ranking education officials during a one-on-one sit down and courtesy call at the Ministry of Education.
“It is more than exciting, it is impressive that we have such great young minds in our country like Sierra. I am pleased that she has the encouragement of her parents. Sierra is beautiful, very creative and also very courageous. I am very impressed with the confidence that young people are expressing today and in particular, a young woman like her who is still in the precocious years of her life and demonstrating a certain ingenuity with her writing skills,” said Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd as he greeted the young writer and her mother on Monday.
He said he hoped Sierra’s writing would further inspire and motivate other students to utilize their literary gifts. Sierra’s publications are a “clear demonstration that the gift is there, it’s only a matter of exploiting it and bringing it forth in our young people.”
According to acting deputy director of education Sharon Poitier both books possess tie-ins with the Ministry of Education’s curriculum. “We could use them to integrate so many things: language arts, the sciences and math in particular. For our young people to see themselves in anyone’s writing is a wonderful opportunity.”
The young author captured media attention last year after launching her first book. The work co-authored with her mom, Tosheena Robinson-Blair. Roman and His Mean Family is a 25-page picture book that depicts the rambunctious Roman labeling his family “mean” when he’s restrained from circumventing boundaries set for his own protection. The book is considered to be ideal for teaching the concept of complying with boundaries to children six and under.
Her newest and independently published children’s book, Roman and the Pink Flamingos, is a colorfully illustrated tale of an encounter with pink flamingos at a bird sanctuary. The children’s book series is inspired by Sierra’s three-year-old brother Roman.
“It’s been an amazing journey with this book. It has brought me so many different opportunities. This meeting with the Minister feels like an early birthday gift. It went even better than I could imagine,” said the teenager, who celebrates her 15th birthday on December 19.
“It’s scary to bring something to the public that you’ve put a lot of work into and someone could very easily tear it apart and say, ‘It is not good enough.’ Although I have my family and others in my corner, to meet persons in power and get a positive feedback from them, makes me feel like I’m on the right path,” Sierra said.
The Education Minister challenged Sierra to be an example for her peers. He urged the sophomore to be consistent, continuously press forward and not be distracted: “What I find really wonderful about the book is it utilizes the experiences of Sierra’s own life, capturing the vagaries of her, her brother and her family. We hope this would inspire others to share their stories. This is beautiful. We are very, very proud of her. I certainly hope our Bahamian children would take advantage of this offering by this wonderful young lady.”
Press Release: Ministry of Education
Photo Caption: Tenth grader Sierra Blair presents her books: Roman & His Mean Family and Roman and the Pink Flamingos to Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd and Acting Deputy Director of Education Curriculum and Instruction Sharon Poitier. From left: Ms. Poitier, Minister Lloyd, Sierra and her mother Tosheena Robinson-Blair.