JIS News

Executive Director of the National Youth Service (NYS) Rev. Adinhair Jones has lauded the recently concluded NYS ‘Success Camp’ as the “most successful” since its inception in 2002.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held recently at the Garvey Maceo Comprehensive High School, Rev. Jones said that compared to previous years this year’s camp had shown significant improvement in terms of the number of participants who successfully completed the first phase of the programme.
The ‘Success Camp’ forms part of a two-phased year-long behaviour modification programme, which is being undertaken by the NYS. The programme targets students from age 13 to 17 years, who display anti-social behaviours.
The first camp ran from July 10 to 31 at Garvey Maceo High School and the second camp will also be held at the same location from August 10 to 30.
In his address, Rev. Jones pointed out that this camp was the most successful when compared with the camps of 2002 and 2005 respectively, when a number of participants were disqualified because of their displays of violent behaviour.
“The very first camp erupted into serious violence.to the point where the police had to be called in.it was a very ugly situation.and a number of participants were removed from the camp. In fact we began with 163 (students) and ended with 115 students,” he said.
“Last year we had two camps, one at Oberlin High and the other at Homewood Technical High and the two were affected by violence. several students were sent home, but as we are growing we are also acquiring more skills and competencies in terms of how we manage these particular situations,” Rev. Jones continued.
As such, he pointed out that a number of intervention techniques and strategies were incorporated into this year’s camp and only one student was removed from the programme. One hundred and forty four students registered for this year’s camp.
Noting that the NYS would continue to seek ways to improve the programme, Rev. Jones said that additional scientific intervention strategies would be put in place for subsequent behaviour modification programmes in order to ensure their continued improvement.
These he said, included the establishment of ‘behaviour indicators’, ‘core indicators’, ‘determinal indicators’ and ‘impact indicators’. He also said that baseline and tracking studies would be done in order to ensure a more scientific approach to the programme.
In addition, Clinical Psychologist in charge of the camp, Dr. Tamika Haynes-Robinson said that students, when compared to when they first arrived, had shown significant improvements in their behaviours.
“There were students in the camp who clearly didn’t know how to react when faced with a difficult situation or how to interact normally with each other without being aggressive,” she said.
“And throughout the three-week and even before week one ended, we began to see the changes in these students and they began to help each other with anything.to the point of parting fights between each other and their behaviour continued to improvement right up to the end of the camp,” she asserted.
Pointing out that the camp was “not a magic wand”, Dr. Haynes-Robinson pointed out that students and parents must continue with the programme throughout the rest of the school year, in order to ensure continued improvement.
In the meantime, a number of students received awards for excelling in a number of areas. Kady-Ann Newman copped the top prize for Spelling Bee Champion, while Dwayne Rose and Michelle Barnaby received trophies for ‘Most Improved’ male and female respectively. Ganeille Campbell and Keniel Fearon walked away with trophies for ‘Most Disciplined’ students and Chantelle Brown for ‘Most Helpful’ student.
Leon Campbell and Kady-Ann Newman received awards for second placements for ‘Most Outstanding’ male and female, while Michael Levy and Melisa Mogent copped the trophies for ‘Most Outstanding’ male and female.
The first phase of the behaviour modification programme, exposed students to a wide range of areas, including anger management, conflict resolution, personal development, behaviour management, problem solving, life skills training, communication skills, as well as sporting activities. The second phase of the programme will begin in September and will provide further support for students as well as their parents.
Activities in this phase will include enrichment and parenting workshops, a mentoring programme, periodic school visits and a post referral-counselling programme.
At the end of the second phase, a graduation ceremony will be held for students who successfully completed the programme. In addition, they will automatically become a part of the NYS work experience programme.

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