#PLAYMATTERSJA BY TALK UP YOUT. POWERED BY SEPROD FOUNDATION
KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 19, 2018 - A forum & play day at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home highlighted the importance of play in child development. Children were treated to a day of play building up to International Children’s Day on November 20 - declared as the National Day of Play.
Educators, parents and children from Vaz Preparatory School, St. Theresa Preparatory School, Maxfield Park Primary School, Maxfield Park Children’s Home Basic and Special Needs School were among the numbers in attendance at Talk Up Yout’s Month of Play launch on November 6.
There was a panel discussion with government ministers, educators and other stakeholders.
Panelists included State Minister - Alando Terrelonge, Seprod Foundation Chairman - Melanie Subratie, Quality Education Specialist at UNICEF Jamaica - Dr. Rebecca Tortello and Commissioner at the Early Childhood Commission - Rachael McDonald.
A key initiative of the month’s activities, is advocating for safe play spaces for children.
Melanie Subratie, Chairman of the Seprod Foundation, sponsor of the Month of Play, says their involvement is “to make sure that Jamaican children get the education that not only we want to give them, but that they need to have so that they are equipped to be the leaders of future generations,”.
Commissioner Rachael McDonald argues, the only way we can get our children ‘21st century ready’, where they can think critically, is when we make deliberate time for play.
What is the value of play to children?
State Minister, Alando Terrelonge, emphasized the importance of unguided play, saying parents should allow children play time so they can build their imagination and interact with their peers which will help develop their social skills.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rebecca Tortello of UNICEF pointed out that as children grow they tend to play less, but they need to play more since it helps to build critical and creative thinkers. She says that games like crossword puzzles, vocabulary games and hopscotch have various educational benefits.
Commissioner McDonald says Jamaica subscribes to a play-based Early Childhood Curriculum, meaning children must play every day. She boasts this is one of the better curriculums in the world as it allows children at that level to have a child-friendly way of learning.
$20,000 up for Grabs
Parents can win $20,000 for their children at the end of November in an online competition.
“All you have to do is post a video of you and your child playing, put it on Instagram, using the hashtag #PlayMattersJA and tag Talk Up Yout, Seprod Foundation and PlayMattersJA on Instagram” Golding explained. The video with the most ‘likes’ will win.
For more information on the other activities contact:
Youth, ages 14 - 26, from all over the world, talking up. #TalkUpYout