Access to Information Unit Launches Booklet

Story Highlights

  • The Access to Information Unit launched its youth information booklet titled, ‘Abby and Friends ATI Adventure’, on March 26, at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, Tom Redcam Drive, in Kingston.
  • It highlights the journey of a group of friends as they seek to use the ATI Law to finish a school project.
  • In his address, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, welcomed the publication, and encouraged the Unit to partner with the HEART Trust/NTA in creating an animated format of the book.

The Access to Information Unit launched its youth information booklet titled, ‘Abby and Friends ATI Adventure’, on March 26, at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, Tom Redcam Drive, in Kingston.

The booklet was designed to inform young people, especially high school students, about the Access to Information Act (ATI), primarily through storytelling.

It highlights the journey of a group of friends as they seek to use the ATI Law to finish a school project.

The publication takes its readers on a knowledge-filled type of adventure, with an activities section, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about the ATI.

In his address, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, welcomed the publication, and encouraged the Unit to partner with the HEART Trust/NTA in creating an animated format of the book.

“[Here] we can tell the story through animation. We have a youth digitisation project at the HEART Trust/NTA with some excellent young animators. Why not let us bring Abby to life. So, yes they can read the book, but imagine if we could also pop in a video that we can play,” Mr. Green said.

“This is something that the Ministry of Education will be willing to partner on, and that is something I believe we should do as the next step,” he added.

Meanwhile, Acting Director, Access to Information Unit, Tomica Daley, said following the implementation of the ATI in 2004, the Government, through the ATI Unit, has sought to create awareness of the Act and encourage the various publics to utilise it.

“Consequently, the Unit identified the youth cohort as significant participants as early democratic participation is integral to shaping our future,” Mrs. Daley said.

She noted that the idea for the publication came about in 2016 when the team at the Unit recognised that it had little promotional material relating to the youth.

“When we conducted school public education outreach, children and youth often had to be provided with materials designated for adults, specifically the adult brochure and copies of the law.

Naturally, this affected our ability to generate interest among this very important cohort, our youth, and so we concluded that there must be another way,” the Acting Director said.

“We undertook this project to produce a booklet that would resound with the youth population and, more specifically, those attending secondary institutions. I am very proud to see that this project is now a reality as our hard work has been rewarded and today we are able to launch the Access to Information booklet – Abby and Friends, ATI Adventure,” she added.

To date, the Access to Information Unit has entered into several partnerships, including the implementation of ATI corners in high schools.

“We have forged a partnership with the Jamaica Library Service to have the book placed in their branches islandwide and community mobile units, as well as in the schools where they operate,” Mrs. Daley said.

The Unit has also partnered with the Kingston Bookshop in hoisting a banner on their social media pages and websites and, through this initiative, persons will be directed to visit the ATI website where they will be able to download an electronic copy of the booklet.

Additionally, the Unit will be entering into a partnership with the Ministry of Education to have the booklet introduced in high schools across the island as students prepare for School Based Assessments or to just undertake general research.

“We are very excited about the introduction of this booklet and the impact it will have on our ability to increase not only awareness of the Act, but also its utilisation,” Mrs. Daley said.

JIS Social