Chairperson of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings, is appealing to Jamaicans to celebrate the nation’s children in this the 50th year of the country’s independence.
“One thing I know, without a shadow of a doubt, is that our Jamaican children are packed with potential and all they need is for somebody to pull it out of them; to give them the push, to show them the way,” Dr. Mullings said.
She was addressing the NCMC annual Child Month Essay and Poster Competitions award ceremony and luncheon, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, on May 31.
The competitions, which were opened to children between the ages of six and 18 years, were two of the many activities organised by the NCMC to mark Child Month 2012, under the theme: ‘Jamaica 50: Let’s Celebrate Our Children’.
There were approximately 150 entries from schools across the island, much more than the number submitted for the competitions last year.
Dr. Mullings said the response from the children made her feel very hopeful for Jamaica’s future.
Meanwhile, Chairperson for Hear the Children’s Cry, Gillian Rowlands, said she was very impressed with the posters and the essays. “It really endorses what I already knew, that our Jamaican children have tremendous talent…they have wonderful potential,” she said.
LIME’s Regional Head of Corporate Communications, Kalando Wilmoth, applauded the NCMC for continuing the tradition of Lady Foote in celebrating the children of Jamaica.
“We note this year’s theme: ‘Jamaica 50: Let’s celebrate our Children’. We at LIME will always be celebrating our children, but children must be given the opportunity to express their ideas about our culture, language and heritage and what I am seeing from these essays and the posters that are on display, is that it was an exciting time for them and it is certainly great for us to see,” Mr. Wilmoth said.
Kajay Whitley of Corinaldi Avenue Primary School; Jada Grey of Stella Maris Preparatory School and Abigail Battick, also of Stella Maris Preparatory School, copped first, second and third places, respectively, in the six to nine year-old category of the essay competition.
For the 10 to 12 year-old category, Kory Dillion of Tarrant Primary School placed first; Dujuanna Dillion of Stella Maris Preparatory School, placed second, and Brianna Coote of Hydel Preparatory School, placed third.
Melissa Douglas of St. Andrew High School for Girls secured first place in the 13 to 15 years category, while Gabrielle Alexander of the Institute of Jamaica Junior Centre secured second place and Sheryl Reid of Campion College placed third.
Awarded first place in the 16 to 18 years was Cesar Buelto from Campion College; second place went to Samantha Braidy from Immaculate Conception High School and Tevin McLeod of Clarendon College was awarded third place.
The winners received trophies, medals, cash awards and gift baskets for their effort.
In the Poster Competition, the top two awards went to Jada Dixon and Morganne Miller of Stella Maris Preparatory School in the six to seven years category.
Jay-Dan Chalmers of Corinaldi Avenue Primary School; and Zoe Isaacs and Safiya McClymont of Stella Maris Preparatory School copped the top three prizes in the eight to 10 years category.
The top three awards for the 11 to 14 years category went to Kevin Vassell of Wolmer’s Boys School, Tori Ebanks of Stella Maris Preparatory School and Allyssa Biggs of the Institute of Jamaica Junior Centre. Anthony Cookes of Wolmer’s Boys School, and Shimary Scott and Ajani Bissick of Immaculate Conception High School secured first, second and third places, respectively, in the 15 to 18 years category. These winners received trophies, book vouchers, in addition to bags, cash awards and medals. First place winners received plaques; and a scholarship was also awarded to the first place winner in the 11 to 14 years category to Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Other events to be staged by the NCMC to celebrate the nation’s children are a Mini Family Expo on Saturday, June 30; the Community Service Awards Ceremony and a Youth Forum in November.
By Judith A. Hunter, JIS Reporter