Twelve year old Kaela Smith, a student at the Corinaldi Avenue Primary School, has copped first place in the 12 and under age group category of the annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, FCCA, Foundation Children’s Environmental Poster competition. This after she advanced to the final leg of the competition, following her success in winning the Jamaican leg, which was coordinated by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
Smith’s victory marks the third consecutive year that a Jamaican student has won the competition and will see the student collecting a trophy and a cash prize of US$3,000 during a special luncheon aboard a FCCA cruise ship at the Ocho Rios port in St. Ann on April 12. In addition, Kaela’s school will be presented with US$3,000 in lieu of art supplies.
Students from 13 Caribbean countries entered the competition in both categories with the winner of the 13 to 16 category coming from the Bahamas. The competition was judged based on the students’ depiction of at least three ways in which a destination can make a difference in preserving the environment. The competition also sought to stimulate environmental awareness among students and effectively educate them on the importance of environmental protection.
Kaela’s poster which was entitled “Stop! Think! Reduce your Carbon Footprint!” depicted the three ways in which she believes a tourist destination can protect the environment and ensure sustainability. She placed great emphasis on recycling, agriculture and reforestation.
In commenting on her victory, Kaela who just completed her Grade Six Achievement Test, GSAT and will be heading to High School in September said “I am really very happy! I was confident that I would have won or at least place among the top two. I must pay tribute to my family at home and at school for the support they gave me in creating the poster and doing so well. I am so happy."
In congratulating Kaela on her victory in the competition, Tourism Minister, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett said “Jamaican students are known worldwide to be among the brightest and the most creative. Kaela has done Jamaica, her school, the nation’s educational and tourism sectors proud. The Ministry of Tourism pays tribute to her, her family and teachers for the support they have given in ensuring that her entry was of the standard that enabled her to continue Jamaica’s rich tradition in the competition."
Director of Tourism, and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board Mr. John Lynch expressed that “the link between tourism and education cannot be over emphasized. Tourism continues to benefit from well educated and trained professionals coming out of our schools and colleges. This poster competition staged by the FCCA fits well with Jamaica’s involvement in eco-tourism, and is a venture the JTB proudly supports. Congratulations are in order for the FCCA’s insightfulness in staging the competition and the hope is that the involvement of the children will continue in years to come."
The Tourism Minister noted that “the Ministry of Tourism will continue to collaborate with other Government agencies and private sector interests to do whatever we can to facilitate the creative expressions of the nation’s children so that we can have more stars such as Kaela coming to the fore."
Issued by: Ministry of Tourism