Jubilation was etched on the faces of the winners and runners-up in the 2013 National Road Safety Council (NRSC) Poster Competition, as they received their attractive prizes and trophies at an awards ceremony held recently at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.
The joy was warranted as they had toiled long and hard to complete and submit their pieces, which conveyed ingenious messages on road safety.
The awardees were chosen from approximately 54 hopefuls, who competed in three age categories – six to nine; 10 to 14; and 15 to 19, under the theme: ‘Pedestrian Safety – the Street Smart Way’.
For 18-year-old Deon Green, who copped first place in the 15 to 19 category, there was sheer elation at her achievement.
She commended the NRSC for staging the competition, noting that it not only serves to convey a positive message but “helps young people like us to express our creativity in a good way.”
Deon, who is a student of the Brown’s Town Community College in St. Ann, told JIS News that it took her two weeks to complete her poster, and her approach was to work on it over time, especially when she felt most inspired. “I did a little each day …when I’m in the mood,” she informs.
Student at Wolmer’s High School for Girls, Mishawn Chin-See, who edged out other competitors to win in the 10 to 14 category, told JIS News that although she worked hard, she did not expect to win.
“I was very surprised that I won because I expected other persons to do better,” she says.
The judges, however, were obviously impressed with the message of the poster, which highlights a street-crosser explaining the different rules regarding road safety, with various illustrations on each rule.
The 14 year old is encouraging users of the island’s thoroughfares to “follow the rules of the road, cross the roads the right way, and be safe on the roads”.
Laraine Williams of Mona Heights Primary School was the winner in the six to nine age category.
Meanwhile, second place went to Dominick Taffe from Harrison Preparatory School in the six to nine age category; Asha Wilson from Spanish Town Primary, 10 to 14 age category; and Janel Hamilton of Jonathan Grant High’s 4-H Club in the 15 to 19 age group.
Emily Williams of Mona Heights Primary; Jody-Ann Campbell of Jonathan Grant High School’s 4-H Club; and Natalia Surgeon of the East Street Junior Centre (Institute of Jamaica) placed third in the six to nine, 10 to 14, and 15 to 19 age groups, respectively.
The three winners each received cash prizes of $30,000; with $25,000 for second place; and $10,000 for third place. There were also trophies for the winners, scholarships at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts; start-up accounts from Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS); and prizes for the schools.
Providing the judges’ report, Executive Director, NRSC, Paula Fletcher, informed that initially, there were only two categories but the judges decided to extend it to three.
She noted that the quality of the entries in all the categories had improved compared to last year.
“Most of the entries showed a high level of imagination and creativity, because that is really what we want. The poster must speak for itself when you look at it,” she said.
The majority of the entries addressed the theme of pedestrian safety. Ms. Fletcher disclosed that 30 per cent of persons, who die on the nation’s roads, are pedestrian, with a third of them being children.
Ms. Fletcher also pointed out that there was a notable widening of the pool of entrants, with students from the university and community college level entering, as well as youth and service clubs.
She reminded prospective entrants that for next year, they should be mindful of the excessive use of text in the poster competition. “Whatever text you use, should complement, it shouldn’t overshadow. We shouldn’t be able to have to read the text to determine what the message is about, as it is an art competition,” she said.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, who was present at the awards ceremony, commended the “excellent” work undertaken by the students.
He also hailed the organisers of the competition, noting that it seeks to captivate the interest of youngsters while encouraging them to be responsible road users.
There were merit awardees in each category. In the six to nine age group, the awardee was Omari Nicholson of Mona Heights Primary, who received a plaque,
For the 10 to 14 age group, the awardees were Nickallaye Gunn and Reanna Jarrett of Corinaldi Primary; Tiffany Watson of Kingston High School; Aaliyah Gidden from New Day Primary and Junior High; Nicholas Foster, Hague Primary; Latroyah Watson, Jonathan Grant High School (4-H Club); and Anna-Leigh Williams, Mona Heights Primary.
Merit awardees in the 15 to 19 age group were: Sabrina Brown from Jose Marti Technical High School; Shaquille Blackwood, Wolmer’s Boys; Brandon-Luc Goldsmith, University of the West Indies, Mona; Sade Martin, Herbert Morrison High; Aundre France, Trench Town Police Youth Club; Micah Goldsmith, Ardenne High School; and Kedisha Myers, St. Elizabeth Technical High School.
The NRSC poster competition was introduced two years ago as an innovative and exciting part of the Council’s national efforts to increase the safety of youngsters and solicit their perspectives on the traffic environment in which they interface on a daily basis.
Contact: Chris Patterson