JIS News

Despite having only days to prepare, Ardenne High School emerged victorious from a field of six high schools to win the National Schools’ Nutrition Quiz High School Competition, hosted last Friday at the Caenwood Centre.
In its eleventh year as a secondary school competition, the Nutrition Quiz was organized by the National Food and Nutrition Coordinating Committee of Jamaica, and funded by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund at a cost of $638,000.
After the quiz’s intense question-and-answer session that lasted more than three hours, the six participating schools were whittled down to four, after which the top three schools were declared the winners.
Ardenne secured a six-point lead to win while St. Mary High took second place after accumulating five points and Wolmer’s Girls’ School placed third with four points.
All the teams and the winners were awarded trophies, which were sponsored by Sigma Manufacturers Merchant Bank.
Ardenne’s Home Economics teacher, Joan Davis-Williams, who also coordinates the school’s personal development programme, was ecstatic at her school’s success.
She told JIS News that although the school received a letter from the competition’s organizers advising of the staging of the regional finals of the competition a mere four days before, the four-member team was undaunted by the short preparation time and took up the challenge.
The regional finals, in which 30 schools from four separate regions across the island competed, were held the previous week. The top two schools from each region subsequently advanced to the national finals of the Quiz competition.
Instructed by the organizers to use the secondary school text, ‘Nutrition Made Simple’ as a guide, Mrs. Davis-Williams said she prepared her four-student team by initially, making “a five-hour telephone conference call from her home one Sunday afternoon” in which the students familiarized themselves with the relevant information relating to food and nutrition.
The Home Economics and Personal Development teacher told JIS News, “I went through the pages of the text and wrote a number of questions on a daily basis. I photocopied these and gave it to them to do in their free time.”
Explaining that the students’ hectic school curriculum and other activities allowed them little free time during school hours to study for the Nutrition Quiz, Mrs. Davis-Williams said, “they would see me during the day to tell me if there was a problem with the questions they were unable to answer.”
The four-member team is comprised of sixth form students, Shari-Ann Davis, Melissa Mitchell, Giselle Harrison, and Craig Walters. Shari-Ann Davis attributed the team’s success to a combination of prayer and dedicated studying.The sixth former said that participating in the Nutrition Quiz was beneficial, as it “has helped us to become more rounded individuals and the discipline we took in studying for the quiz will also help us in other school activities.”
Shari-Ann’s teammate, Melissa Mitchell, revealed that her participation in the Quiz was significant as it influenced her decision to pursue a career in the food and nutrition.
Having prayed for a sign to direct her career path, Melissa said she saw her team’s first-place finish as the answer.
As winners of the national title, Melissa and her three colleagues will represent Jamaica as they advanced to the Caribbean Schools’ Nutrition Quiz Competition scheduled to take place next week, on October 29 and 30. That competition will see the participation of several high schools hailing from a number of Caribbean countries. Ardenne will compete with the other schools through tele-conferencing facilities at the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centres (UWIDEC).
Chairperson for the National Food and Nutrition Coordinating Committee of Jamaica (NFNCCJ), Lorna Edwards, pointed out that the primary objectives that the committee sought to achieve by staging the Quiz Competition “was the introduction to careers in food and nutrition for the students, having them foster a greater appreciation for food and nutrition, and the promotion of overall healthy lifestyles for the students and the country at large.”
Miss Edwards explained that preparation for the Competition involved “the Coordinating Committee liaising with the Home Economics section of the Ministry of Education, and we also coordinated with the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute.”
“We are very grateful to the CHASE Fund for allowing us to reinvigorate this competition. What we are hoping is that based on this year’s competition, we will be able to get funding to make future competitions bigger,” Miss Edwards said.

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