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KINGSTON — Twenty-five children were honoured for their creativity and ingenuity, at the National Child Month Committee’s (NCMC) poster and essay competitions awards ceremony, Tuesday (May 31).

The competitions were among several activities to mark Child Month 2011 in May, under the theme: ‘Our World…Their Future…Our Responsibilty’.

For the essay competition, children competed in four categories, with a different topic for each group. For the six to nine-year olds, entries were guided by the topic: ‘The Role and Responsibility of the Family and Me’; while the 10 to 12-year olds wrote on the topic: ‘The Role and Responsibility of the School and Me’.

Entrants 13 to 15 years old looked at ‘The Role and Responsibility of the Community and Me’, while the issue, ‘The Role and the Responsibility of the Government and Me’, was explored by older students aged 16 to 18 years.

For the poster contest, which rans concurrently with the essay competition, there were also four age categories: 6 to 7 years; 8 to10 years; 11 to 14 years and 15 to18 years.

Addressing the award ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, Chairperson for the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings, congratulated the participants, adding that the pieces highlighted that children were aware of their surroundings and what they want in life.

She said that there were 38 poster entries and 43 essay entries, emphasizing that with active support and participation from parents and guardians, more entries will be forthcoming over the years.

Dr. Mullings implored adults and parents to continue assisting and playing a role in the lives of their children.

Patron of Child Month, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GraceKennedy Limited, Douglas Orane, said the competition encouraged skills in literature and art, while imploring Jamaican children to become proactive.

LIME’s Corporate Communications Manager, Camille Taylor, said the competition sought to assist the participants in developing self expression, while honing their creative skills for now and the future.

Commending the National Child Month Committee, she encouraged members to continue serving for the development of the children.

Guest speaker, Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, noted that the young artists and authors were, in their own small way, writing stories, inscribing history while producing valuable artistic products. He said that words are powerful tools, noting that while it can heal and encourage, it can also harm.

“What do you chose to ignore? What do you decide to indulge? How will you invest your time here and what will you choose to investigate and interrogate?” he asked, encouraging them to ponder critical questions which will play a significant role in their lives.

The poster and essay competitions aim to make the children more aware of their place in family and society, and for them to highlight problems that affect their development.

The competitions also allow them to express how they, their families and the society can assist in making positive changes.

                                           

By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter