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  • State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, says that this year’s Child Month theme, ‘Unplug Negativity, Connect Positivity…Think!’, is timely as Jamaica and the rest of the world grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • “We understand the negative impact the virus is having on our children, who are deeply concerned about not being able to go to school, worried about their education or simply not being able to go out and play, explore and have fun,” he pointed out.
  • National Children’s Day will be observed on Friday, May 15 and Jamaicans are being encouraged to wear sunshine yellow on the day, whether they are staying at home, or going out as an essential service worker.

State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, says that this year’s Child Month theme, ‘Unplug Negativity, Connect Positivity…Think!’, is timely as Jamaica and the rest of the world grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He said that the theme emphasises the importance of helping children to embrace the positive aspects of the pandemic, such as spending more quality family time together, even as they are impacted by the closure of schools.

“We understand the negative impact the virus is having on our children, who are deeply concerned about not being able to go to school, worried about their education or simply not being able to go out and play, explore and have fun,” he pointed out.

“We want to ensure that the children become critical thinkers and solution-oriented, while helping them to embrace the positive side of COVID-19,” he said.

He is, therefore, calling on parents, caregivers and educators to instil positive values and attitudes in their children and “let them know that we are all in this together as we work to unplug the negativities and connect to the positives”.

Mr. Terrelonge was speaking at the virtual launch of Child Month on April 17.

Patron of Child Month, Douglas Orane, who officially launched the month of activities, said parents and caregivers “should encourage their children to invest their time at home to use technology to learn skills of concentration and focus without having a teacher physically in front of them”.

Children are also being encouraged to embrace the abundance of knowledge on every subject area that is available at their fingertips online.

The National Child Month Committee (NCMC), chaired by Dr Pauline Mullings, is mandated to plan the activities for Child Month annually.

Activities for this year have been significantly modified in light of the Government’s instruction to observe social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The month will get under way on Sunday (May 3) with a national virtual church service at the Port Antonio Baptist Church, Portland, starting at 10:00 a.m.

Churches across the island are being encouraged to make their services child-centred throughout the month of May.

National Children’s Day will be observed on Friday, May 15 and Jamaicans are being encouraged to wear sunshine yellow on the day, whether they are staying at home, or going out as an essential service worker.

Leading up to Children’s Day, young people, aged six to 17, will have an opportunity to share videos or photographs showcasing their talent in song, poetry, or visual art under the Child Month theme. The creative pieces should be submitted via email to ncmcja@gmail.com by Friday, May 8.

On National Children’s Day, the videos and photographs will be featured on the NCMC Facebook page (@ncmcja), where members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite up to May 22 at 6:00 p.m.

The entry with the most likes will be declared winner of the popular vote.

The month of activities will culminate with a National Day of Prayer on Wednesday, May 27 at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester. Church administrators islandwide are being asked to invite their members to offer special prayers for the nation’s children on the day.

Lead sponsors for Child Month 2020 are GraceKennedy Limited and National Baking Company Limited.

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