Child Month activities in St. Kitts-Nevis centered on health, safety, security

From SKNIS              

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The 34th celebration of Child Month in St. Kitts-Nevis, which is being held under the theme “Children’s Health, Safety and Security, our Priority,” is being commemorated with a month-long calendar of activities, says Travia Tyson from the Early Childhood Development Unit when she appeared on the radio-television show “Working for You” Wednesday.

Tyson said that the activities began May 31 with a grand opening to mark the commencement of the activities. During the event, children released 34 balloons in the air.

“What I liked about that opening ceremony is that other than the director’s brief remarks and the opening words by the minister of education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, the children were the ones who did everything throughout the ceremony and they did it well,” she said.

On June 1, there was the opening of Child Month with church services in the West Zone at the Light House Baptist Church. All the day-care centres and the nurseries, both private and public, in that area came out to worship. “The turn out, as usual, was very good,” said Tyson.

Every Saturday throughout the month, children visited the ZIZ studio for “Totally for Kids,” which airs at 9 a.m. Tyson said that Uncle Terry was brought into the studio to sing and read to the kids. They were asked questions and people were allowed to call in to win prizes.

“We’ve had three weeks already where we had Salvation Army, Dieppe Bay, St. Paul’s, Old Road, Sandy Point, Industrial Site Day Care [and] Victoria Road Day Care and this Saturday, we are going to have Baptist Academy and Tabernacle Day Care starting from 9 a.m. on ZIZ,” she said.

On June 2, Basseterre had its breakfast walk, which related to the health aspect. “This year for the health aspect, one of the things that we tried was a breakfast walk for each zone,” said Tyson. “The Basseterre Zone was on the second, the East Zone was on the ninth, and the West Zone was on the 16th, so we’ve covered all of our walks.”

On June 4, there was a church service in the East Zone at the Methodist Church. On June 5, the Methodist Church hosted the Basseterre Zone.

From June 6-8, the Early Childhood Unit decided to do something new. “We recognised “Literacy with Love Day” on [June] 6, but throughout that week, we encouraged the centres to do something different—not just have [people] come in and read to the children, but we encouraged them to have a journey through books,” Tyson explained. Tyson explained that the props were placed in the centres to depict the story being read.

“For example the three little pigs, their props were set up in their centres and the children would dramatize these stories,” she said.

The promotional day was held June 7, where children and teachers went out into the community to sensitize the public about Child Month by giving out flyers.

On June 8 and June 12, a march was held in Nevis. Tyson said that a Chopped Competition was held. This was one of the biggest events of Child Month, and it was used to bring out the health aspect of the theme.

On June 20, a fun day was held throughout the day at the St. Paul’s grounds. “We had different schools going in, in intervals with their children and engaged in different activities,” Tyson said. “We had the movie room, stimulating areas where they got toys to play with and a sporting area. We tried to cover all aspects of our theme at that fun day.”

Tyson encouraged people to go out to support the food fair that the unit today. This year, a sweets bar will be reintroduced.

On June 23, there will be a boat ride from 6-10 p.m. on the Prince Devonte. Tickets are $50. You can purchase tickets at any day care centre.

On June 26, there will be a West Zone concert at the Sandy Point Hard Court. The public is invited to see the children showcase their talents.

A staff development day for the Early Childhood Development Unit will be held June 27 at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Child Month will culminate with a grand parade June 29, where different aspects of this year’s theme will be displayed.