- Parents urged to support and participate in the Parent Month activities across the island.
- November is observed as National Parent Month.
- A deliberate focus will be placed on mobilizing Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).
Executive Director of the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), Dr. Patrece Charles-Freeman, is urging all Jamaicans to support and participate in the Parent Month activities across the island.
Over the years, November has been observed as National Parent Month as part of the Ministry of Education’s policy to support and promote effective parenting.
This year, however, the activities are being spearheaded by the newly launched NPSC, which has planned a series of events at both the school and regional levels under the theme: ‘Transforming Families Through: Communication Awareness Resources and Education’ (CARE).
Dr. Charles-Freeman said a deliberate focus will be placed on mobilizing Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) within the regions.
Addressing the official launch event for the NPSC and National Parent Month at the Office of the Prime Minister recently, she informed that the six educational regions will be partnering with a number of government and private sector entities to provide an enriching experience for parents and guardians.
Activities began on Sunday, November 3, with the National Church Service at the Boulevard Baptist Church in St. Andrew. The flag ship event will be a National Parenting Village on November 9 at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St. Andrew.
Among the features will be a Parent Marketplace, where parents will have the opportunity to sell their wares to patrons. There will also be an area for “21st Century parenting”, which will demonstrate new technology that children are exposed to and ways in which parents can use technology to make learning fun.
“This section is sponsored by Royal Computers (Samsung) and we will have various laptops, desktops, and smart phones on display and for use in addition to having demonstrations of educational apps,” the NPSC head informed.
There will also be a Kiddies Village where children can have fun, as well as a parent roundtable talk with live discussions between parents that will be taped for broadcast.
“Discussions will centre on or around inappropriate behaviour and how to deal with it and how to pass on responsibility to your children. Our major sponsor, NCB, will also conduct presentations on investments and responsible saving. We will also be providing parenting tips and information on positive and effective parents,” Dr. Charles-Freeman noted.
She also informed that on November 29, there will be a national assembly of parents. “We will ask parents to assemble in the morning at their children’s school and they will give a pledge of involvement and receive bands or pins that state ‘I am an involved parent’ and it’s really a symbol to show their dedication to their children and their involvement in school,” she explained.
Dr. Charles-Freeman added that on this day, a visit will be made to Maggotty High School in St. Elizabeth, which has been in the news recently for a negative video that displayed some of its students dancing in a highly controversial manner. She noted that the parents in the rural community are excited about the visit, pointing out that there are positive things happening at the school.
Other activities will include a National Parenting Award Ceremony; parenting workshops; clinic outreach; parenting workshops; cook off between inner city school PTAs in region one; community farming and seed sowing project in regions four and six; and regional parenting expos and award ceremonies.
The month concludes with a national conference and expo at the Jamaica College in St. Andrew, hosted by the National Parent Teachers Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ), under the theme: ‘Parents, Care and Protect Your Children… Get Involved’.