Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Maverley children get cultural experience

Published:Tuesday | October 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Children of Maverley in St Andrew read about some of Jamaica’s major performers inside the halls of the Little Theatre in St Andrew recently. The children were among a group of over 100 youngsters from inner-city communities, the Central Branch All-Age School in Kingston, and children with special needs, who were invited to enjoy a performance of the Jamaican Folk Singers as they celebrated their 51st concert season at the Little Theatre.

Several children recently left the Little Theatre smiling from ear to ear after they witnessed a performance of the prominent cultural group during the 51st concert season.

The children, mainly from Maverley in St Andrew, the Central Branch All-age School and Clan Carthy High School in Kingston, danced and sang to the renditions of revival music, Kumina and traditional festive work-and-play songs depicting traditional values and historical events.

"They really enjoyed it," said Alecia Jones, executive director of Voices for Jamaica, a not-for-profit group working in the community of Maverley, St Andrew, who chaperoned a group of children from the community.

"It's usually an opportunity for them to experience our culture in a way they have never had a chance to before," Jones said.

"The intention each year is to allow the children, who are from inner city communities and from schools in inner-city areas, to have an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate aspects of our Jamaican folklore and traditions that they may not be either familiar with, or fully understand," said Janelle Pantry Coke, president of the Rotary Club of Trafalgar New Heights, which organised the attendance of more than 100 children to attend the concert, with support from NCB Foundation, the Sagicor Foundation, JN Money Services Limited and the Joan Duncan Foundation.

"Through the songs, they get to see history come to life and be confident and proud of their heritage and the qualities that define us as Jamaicans," she said.

Pantry Coke underscored that the initiative also exposes the children to the world of theatre, as many have never had the opportunity to witness live theatrical performances before.

"We are truly grateful to our sponsors who each year provide us with the support so that we can deliver this kind of meaningful experience to our children," Pantry Coke noted. "We are certain it will impact positively on their development."