JIS News

Dr. Pauline Mullings, Chairperson of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), has appealed for more Jamaicans to invest in the nation’s children.
“We will definitely reap what we sow and it is our [NCMC] belief that if we put in them [children] what we expect to get out of them, that is what we will get out of them and this is why in the NCMC, we bless our children and we do not curse them,” she said.
“We big them up! We elevate them! We give them opportunities to grow and to extend themselves,” Dr. Mullings stressed, at the NCMC’s 2007 Essay and Poster Competition awards presentation luncheon held recently at the Medallion Hotel in Kingston.
The Committee, she continued, has invested heavily in the nation’s children, as it believed that all children should be protected and nurtured. “We have every confidence that Jamaica is going to be better because we are training our children and we are helping them to experience the rights that are due to them,” she noted.
Communication consultant and broadcast journalist, Fae Ellington, who was the guest speaker at the function, called on fathers to not only care for their children, but also to support them.
“I am tired to go to a school function and see that 75 per cent, 80 per cent, 90 per cent of the people in the audience are women and the children are dying for their fathers to be in that audience for support,” she said, while pointing out that there were some fathers who were always present.
Ms. Ellington also pledged support for the annual competition by committing to provide awards next year for students who can best read their winning essays. “You might very well find that the winner of the first prize essay is not the winner in reading. There are some people that write very well but might not be able to deliver it very well, so I am pushing for the other strength as well. We also need to understand that we need to have a better command of English, not only to write and read it, but to speak it, because it is the official language in the world,” she noted.
In the meantime, some 21 students received awards. Winners of the various categories in the essay competition were Toni-Ann Henry of Excelsior Primary; Shanell Hall of Seaforth Primary; and Sasha-Kay Shaw and Yanique Brevett of Meadowbrook High. All received certificates, medals and cash awards.
For the poster competition, the winners included Gabrielle Alexander and Natalia Surgeon, who entered through the Institute of Jamaica and Adrian Green from Wolmer’s Boys School. Each received summer scholarships from the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts in addition to cash awards and a trophy.
The essay and poster competition is one of the major activities planned by the NCMC annually to allow children to share their thoughts and views on the Child Month theme. This year’s theme was ‘Fathers, Your Children Need You’.

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