Alison and Michael Brooks expressed joy as their daughter, Ashleigh, was named winner of the inaugural Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Child Month Essay Competition, yesterday (May 27), at the JIS Television studio, Arnold Road, Kingston.
Their reactions mirrored pride, relief and happiness that, Ashleigh, a grade three student of Mona Preparatory School made it from among the six finalists, which included high school students.
The competition served to showcase and reward the best essay written by students from primary, preparatory and high schools, outlining ways of preserving and protecting the environment and children. It was held under the theme: Preserve the Environment, Protect Our Children’, and formed part of activities in observance of Child Month 2009.
Ashleigh, in giving a synopsis of her entry, stated the importance of reducing, re-using and recycling in preserving and protecting the environment.
Presenter at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Allison Watson, (left) congratulates winner of the JIS Child Month Essay Competition Finals, Ashleigh Brooks following a brief presentation ceremony at JIS Television, Arnold Road, Kingston on Wednesday (May 27). In the background from left are: Acting Manager JIS TV, Shelly-Ann Harris; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Donna-Marie Rowe and Ashleigh’s parents, Alison and Michael Brooks. The competition was held under the theme: ‘Preserve the Environment. Protect Our Children’.
“Reduce means to make less garbage. Re-use means you can use things like clothes again. Recycle means to take garbage and make something new,” she explained.
“When we preserve the environment, we protect it. Keeping our surroundings clean helps to keep children safe and healthy. We have to keep our environment clean, so that children do not get sick from germs in the garbage,” she said.
She also urged persons to replant trees, whenever they are cut down, as they assist in providing food, protection, and homes for birds and mammals, as well as clean air for children to breathe.
These sentiments were echoed by the other finalists, who encouraged individuals to be mindful of the environment and devise creative ways of protecting and preserving it.
Acting Manager at JIS TV, Shelly-Ann Harris, said that the quality of the essays were excellent, making it very difficult to select a winner. She explained that entrants were graded for grammar, content, cohesion, structure, clarity and adherence to the rules, among other criteria.
Each finalist was rewarded with JIS limited edition posters and books. The winner, who received a certificate, will also co-host the JIS’ “Jamaica Magazine” feature on a date to be decided.
The finalists were: Dea Thomas and Denise Williams from Edwin Allen High School, Clarendon; Stephen Beepat and Katelyn Chai, from Mona Preparatory School, Kingston; and Jodian Parchment from Old Harbour Bay Primary School, St. Catherine.