Teachers at the Providence Heights Infant school in Montego Bay, St. James. have been using creative methods to celebrate the 230 students enrolled at the institution for Child Month, amid the closure of schools due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Child Month is being celebrated in May, under the theme ‘Unplug Negativity, Connect Positivity…Think!’
The school’s celebration started on Teachers’ Day, Wednesday, May 6, when the teaching staff and Principal, Carolyn Clarke-Brown, steered a motorcade, escorted by the police, through the communities of Flanker and Providence Heights where the students reside, displaying posters with messages of love and appreciation.
The posters, some affixed to the vehicles, others being held by the teachers themselves, read ‘We miss you’, ‘We love you’, ‘We care’ and ‘Stay safe’.
Speaking with JIS News, Mrs. Clarke-Brown said students, some decked in their rose pink uniform, and their parents, lined the streets as the motorcade moved through the communities.
“Some of them came with their messages saying ‘Happy Teachers’ Day’. It [the motorcade] was to deal with the mental aspect of it [the pandemic], because a lot of times we are catering to the physical but mentally they may be suffering,” she explained.
“The reception was awesome. We had parents crying. They came out, they waved, they were anxious to see us and then the messages after [the motorcade] were just tremendous. We have parents saying ‘Miss, we didn’t know that we would miss you so much; we appreciate it; it was good.’ We even had children sending voice notes saying, ‘Teacher, can you come again, please?’.” she added.
Mrs. Clarke-Brown further informed that on National Children’s Day, May 15, teachers revisited the communities to distribute cooked meals, fruits and gift packages with items such as snacks, juice, wipes, and masks for the children.
“We did a care package for the children because we realised that most of the care packages going around were really geared towards the cooking of the food. When we were going round [in the motorcade], we realised some of the children did not have any mask and they had to be using handkerchief. So we decided that we were going to get [them] some masks too,” she informed.
Mrs. Clarke-Brown said the educators would continue to brighten the smiles on the faces of the children throughout the month of May, through WhatsApp group conversations.
The principal added that the institution has been providing and delivering cooked lunches to students and will continue that effort until the closure of schools for the summer holidays.