• JIS News

    Some 135 parents from the parishes of Clarendon and St. Catherine have been recognised by the Ministry of Education and Youth for outstanding parenting values.
    Fourteen of them received special awards for exceptional parenting skills at an awards ceremony hosted by the Ministry’s Region Six office in Ascot Hall, Old Harbour on Tuesday (Nov. 21). They include: Daylievans Worrie of Gimme-me Bit Primary; Suzette Rodney of Hazard Drive Basic; Reverend Ranford Hewitt of Vere Technical High; Reverend Oakley Greaves of Denbigh High; Morris Lawrence of Brandon Hill Primary; and Sharon Allen of Mitchell Town Primary, all located in Clarendon. Meanwhile, those recognised from St. Catherine were: Paul Harris of Bridgeport Infant School; Carla Howell Sinclair of St. Mary’s All Age; Mary Barrett of Berwick All Age: Primrose Scott of Cumberland High; Primrose Erskine of Naggo Head Infant school; Yvette Blake of Gregory Park Primary; Reverend Morris Thomas of Troja Primary; and Junia Creary of Cassava River Primary and Infant School.
    The awardees were presented with certificates of recognition and trophies. Two outstanding parents from the Region will be chosen for recognition at the National Awards Ceremony.
    In a JIS News interview, Community Relations Education Officer for Region Six, Yvet Dennis said that the parents were being recognised for their contribution at three different levels.
    “We’ve recognized parents who are being effective as parents of their own children. We are also looking at how they assist other parents in doing an equally good job and then how they mobilize the community where parenting is concerned,” Mrs. Dennis explained.
    She noted further that the parents being recognised had also become involved in developing literacy among their children and had also mobilized external support towards this focus.
    “Some of these parents have raised funds, some have established homework programmes in their own homes or at schools, some have acted as volunteer teachers for classes of students, some have helped to establish literacy resource centres or reading rooms, all towards enriching the literacy programme in schools.
    They have also helped in a number of ways in the matter of literacy as well as other areas of schools such as speaking at parenting seminars and we want to acknowledge their efforts,” she said.
    The awards ceremony was held under the theme: ‘Parents: Today you guide.Tomorrow they lead’. The ceremony formed part of a series of activities put on by the Region Six office in recognition of Parents’ Month, which is being celebrated in November.
    The month began with church services held at Denbigh United in Clarendon and Bread of life Ministries in Vanity Fair, Linstead on November 5, while some 15 workshops are being held from November 13 to 30, focusing on fatherhood, communication, and assisting single parents.
    Other activities include meetings geared at establishing cluster Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs) to form a Regional PTA body. These were held in Linstead, Old Harbour, Spanish Town, Frankfield, May Pen, and Portmore.
    The Region also hosted a parenting forum and exposition at the Church of the Reconciliation on Sunday, November 12, which featured presentations from Fathers Incorporated, the Coalition for Better Parenting, the Ministry of Education and Youth and the Church.
    Arising from this forum, Mrs. Dennis explained further, another forum is to be held in December under the theme: ‘Fatherless Families Breaking the Cycle’.
    The Region will also host an exposition on November 29 in collaboration with the Old Harbour Development Area Committee, where other government agencies such as the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), the Child Development Agency (CDA), the HEART Trust/NTA, the Portmore HEART Community College, and West Indies Housing Contractors (WIHCON) will mount exhibitions.
    She also noted that the parish libraries in May Pen and Spanish Town as well as the Region Six office had mounted exhibitions on parenting during the month.