Thu | Dec 13, 2018

Exposed to Jamaica's 'greatness': Kindergarteners mimic Senate behaviour during Upper House visit

Published:Friday | October 6, 2017 | 1:29 PM
President of the Senate Thomas Tavares-Finson (centre) meets with students from the Truth Tabernacle Early Childhood and Education Centre who were accompanied by teachers and parents. – Contributed Photo

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Fifty kindergarteners aged two years to six years old from Truth Tabernacle Basic School in Cumberland, St Catherine, were guests of senators at Friday's sitting of the Upper House, and they showed none of the jitters that sometimes overtake adults.

The little ones quickly modelled the behaviour of the senators, clapping loudly, and others sought to bang the top of desks to applaud Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who was being congratulated by Senate President Tom Tavares-Finson.

Johnson Smith, who is the leader of government business in the Upper House, was hailed for an address to the United Nations, albeit not her maiden presentation to the body.

Principal of the school, Shellane Dwyer, said the visit was part of the school's developmental programme.

"It's National Heritage Month and we decided that we want to expose the children to greatness. We wanted to show them who our leaders are. We want them to see leadership in action," Dwyer told The Gleaner.

She said in bringing the children to the seat of power, they will be subject to the same behaviours of others in the chamber.

However, at least one came out saying the sitting was "too boring."

The Senate president welcomed the children, and the members applauded their presence. He asked that the usual strictures of the House should not be expected of them,  asking that they be given a "little latitude".

The principal said the children would not stay for the entire sitting as they were prone to restlessness, but the exposure was also part of discipline.

Within  20 minutes, they were escorted quietly from the gallery where they were seated.

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