The loud thumping of the feet this morning signalled the presence of the students of St Matthew’s Primary. Their lifted voices expressed their cause, and their raised placards declared their message.
Their reason was the environment. And marching through the school’s neighbouring villages of Jackman’s, Skeete’s Road and Browne’s Gap in St Michael, they made sure everyone knew they were very serious about playing their part in caring for it.
Some 200 pupils of the school, accompanied by the principal, deputy principal, teachers, the St Michael Parish Ambassadors and a police detail, marched as they echoed several colourful chants and waved banners about their commitment to the environment.
One by one, two by two –– quenching their thirst periodically –– the children marched, stopping at homes, or wherever people were gathered, to disseminate information about how they too could be a part of the movement. Walking along the route, coordinator of the event Francea Benn told Barbados TODAY she believed the message was not only heard clearly, but understood. She said the school’s healthy lifestyle committee wanted a way to really sensitize the children to being healthy.
And what better way of doing this than starting in the home!
As many of the children live in the neighbouring villages, the school thought it would be a good idea to spread the message to those areas, with the hope of parents, as well, coming on board with the initiative.
Benn added: “We hope that as they practise, in turn they would be able to tell their parents about it, and their parents would be able then to follow through with it and hopefully it would become a habit. We want them to go green in relation to the environment; keeping it clean; tidying up,
not littering . . . .
“You are going green in eating healthy foods, using water not only to clean yourself but also to clean internally. Using a lot more water, doing different exercises to keep fit; all these things will help build bodies, build a better person. Further to that, it wasn’t a case of do as I say and not as I do either, since everyone one, principal, teachers auxiliary staff were involved in the movement. They too educated themselves and put into practice what they learnt, so as to better teach the children.
“Most of [the children] are involved in football or cricket which is a year-round thing; so we are hoping that the information that they get this week would be put into practice. The aim is to get them to put these little things into practice, so that as the events come around, they would have a better idea of what structure to use and how to get healthy and stay healthy,” Benn said.
In the afternoon, they resumed with different physical exercises. But the activities are not finished there, they continue on Wednesday when a nutritionist visits the school to deal with the aspect of food and nutrition.
Some chefs are also expected to attend; they will give different demonstrations on how to prepare healthy snacks, which the children themselves can do with the assistance of their parents. On Friday, Alvin Romeo, from the Ministry of Agriculture, will address the children on the environment.