JIS News

More than 400 boys from grades one to six at the Hope Valley Experimental School in Kingston participated in the school’s annual Boys’ Day, held today (May 31).
The theme for the day, which was held at the school was: ‘Being the best that I can be’, and several speakers addressed the boys on topics, such as respect, drug abuse, values and attitudes, conflict resolution, self-esteem, career choices, and the importance of attending school. The boys also participated in a session on dining etiquette.
The day’s events culminated with a concert, which saw the boys performing cultural items, including songs, skits, dub poems and dance.
Among the presenters were Reverend Lloyd Richards; Leon Harris from the Mona Baptist Church; Lanney Davidson, Major Desmond Brown from the Jamaica Defence Force and Sergeant Everton Dunkley from the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
Guidance Counsellor, Beverly Laing-Walker told JIS News that the Day was organized to help the boys to build their self-esteem and develop good social skills. “A lot of the children who come to our school are from the surrounding communities such as August Town and Hermitage, and they have a lot of social problems. We want to make the boys feel special and make them into positive role models for their school and their community,” she explained.
According to Mrs. Laing-Walker, the interaction with the male presenters should help to develop their self-confidence. “After today, we hope that the boys would realize that there are good male role models that they can emulate. We also hope that they will realize that they too can have a positive impact on their communities when they grow up,” she said.
The Hope Valley Experimental School is one of the few schools in the island that caters to the educational development of disabled and able-bodied children simultaneously. The school was founded in 1972 by Professor Sir John Golding, an orthopedic surgeon who wanted to see if children with disabilities could learn in an environment with able-bodied children.
The school caters to more than 1,000 students, both girls and boys, and has a special unit for children with severe physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

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