JIS News

The Jamaica 4-H Clubs will be incorporating healthy lifestyle into its curricula of existing training programmes, to expose young people to the various issues that relate to healthy living. The aim is to meet the need for a more sustained approach to educating young people about health issues that affect them.
According to Lenworth Fulton, Executive Director of the 4-H movement, the programme would be offered primarily in the Home Economics curriculum, but would be fully incorporated into the other programme areas in 2007.
Mr. Fulton, who was addressing a recent JIS Think Tank, informed that the organization was seeking funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to facilitate expansion of the programme.
He noted that the organization would, for the first time, include a healthy lifestyle exhibition at its National Achievement Day, which is slated for April 27 and 28 at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon.
“What we want to do at the national event. is to establish a tent that deals with healthy lifestyles; a tent which will provide information about HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, diabetes, hypertension and the importance of exercise,” he informed.
The Executive Director asserted, that with 4-H being the largest youth-serving body in Jamaica, it was a most suitable organization through which the healthy lifestyle programme could be successfully undertaken.
He noted that the desired messages would reach a wide range of young people through the school, community and church clubs.
Mr. Fulton further pointed out that the health programme fell within the purview of the organization as evidenced by the motto of: “head – for clearer thinking; heart – for greater loyalty; hands – for larger service and health for better living”. He informed that he had mandated the organization to include in a more substantial way, a healthy lifestyle component, which would be beneficial to its clubbites.
On another matter, Mr. Fulton told JIS News that the Environmental Challenge programme, which involved a school gardening as well as a garbage disposal initiative, has been successful.
He said that some 90 schools across the island have benefited from the school gardening component. “This project, funded by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, is one of our major achievements and we are going further with this initiative to incorporate more schools,” he reported, adding that, the project “provides the opportunity for students to work together, while allowing teachers to utilize the area for practical teaching sessions”.
Under the garbage disposal aspect, 4-H provides garbage receptacles to selected schools and the schools are responsible for sustaining the project by replacing the units when the need arises.
“Of primary concern, is how our students dispose of their garbage.as students throw plastic bottles and bags anywhere on the school grounds and we realize that if we provide the right infrastructure they would keep the grounds clean.which is why we have placed receptacles at the points at which they congregate, instead of having a central unit, and this has worked,” Mr. Fulton affirmed.

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