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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More than 13 students competed in the 2nd annual Fletcher’s Land Spelling Bee Competition.
  • The event was organised by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme
  • The CSJP has been playing an integral role in the lives of the youth in the Fletcher’s Land community.

More than 13 students from the Fletcher’s Land Community in Kingston matched their spelling skills as they competed in the 2nd annual Fletcher’s Land Spelling Bee Competition.

The event was organised by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), in collaboration with the Fletcher’s Land Police Youth Club (FLPYC), and was held on Saturday, October 26 at the Fletcher’s Land Community Centre.

Assistant Community Action Officer, Kadian Johnson, said that the annual competition, which targets children within the age group of 9 to 12 years, is intended to improve their reading capacity, and motivate parents to play a more vital role in their children’s educational development.

The children competed in three categories – grades four, five, and six – with the winners in each segment awarded trophies sponsored by the CSJP.

Grade four winner, Tiana-Lee Gray, said she is happy to have won. “At first I felt nervous, but while I sat there, I started to feel confident and I wasn’t nervous anymore. Now that I am the winner, I feel very proud to know that I am the champion speller in my category,” she said.

Unique Plummer, who was the victor in the grade five category, told JIS News that even though she is a good speller, she did not expect to win. “I feel happy that I won. I am extremely happy, proud, and excited,” the youngster said.

Winner of the grade six category, Shanice Sterling, said that she is grateful for what the CSJP and the FLPYC have been doing for the children in Fletcher’s Land. She said the competition has helped to boost her overall academic performance.

“I was very nervous at the beginning, but then I developed confidence and just told myself that I am going to be victorious. I felt like crying when I found out that I won, but I heard a voice saying; don’t cry, you are a winner,” Sterling said.

Representative of the FLPYC, Ramoine Peart, told JIS News that the club works to bridge the gap between the community and the police, and to empower youth, to achieve their fullest potential.

“We realize that there are a lot of talented and smart children in the community, and many times, they are not mentioned. The FLPYC aims to showcase what we have here in our community, amidst the negative perceptions. The competition, to a large extent, was a good idea, that placed the community in a positive light,” he said.

Mr. Peart stated that the participants of the competition were very dedicated and committed to achieving their objective, which motivated both the CSJP and the FLPYC immensely.

“We saw the children balancing both their studies and the preparation for the competition, which was very admirable. This shows that there is good coming out of the community, and we want to broadcast to the entire Jamaica that, despite the negative views, oftentimes expressed, we have youngsters with potential, who are ambitious, and destined to succeed,” he emphasised.

He also lauded the work of the CSJP, which he said, has been playing an integral role in the lives of the youth in the Fletcher’s Land community.

CSJP is a multi-faceted crime and violence prevention initiative focusing on building community safety, security and reducing poverty. The programme currently provides services to 50 volatile and vulnerable communities across eight parishes.