Students make Dengue Clean-up Day fun
Students and teachers of Villa Road Primary in Manchester injected some fun into the cleaning up of their school compound on Friday as the first day of the weekend-long National Dengue Clean-up exercise got under way.
The day began with performances of songs and poems, including a dub poem composed by teacher Kerry-Ann Reid Brown titled ‘Fight the fight and save a life. Mosquitoes wanted dead, not alive.’
The students were then divided into teams headed by leaders, wearing sashes with the words ‘Miss Clean-up’ and ‘Mr Clean-up.’
Under the guidance of the team leaders, they went about removing plastic containers and other garbage from the school grounds and filling empty tyres with dirt to ensure that water would not settle in them.
Reid Brown said that the activity was part of an ongoing effort to keep the school compound clean.
“We try to maintain our environment, so today is just additional work that we are doing to make sure that the environment is safe,” she said.
Schools and business places were the focus of the first day of the national campaign to tackle the dengue virus under the theme ‘Mosquitoes Wanted Dead, not Alive!’
Meanwhile, at Christiana Leased Primary School, students were divided into 11 work teams, representing all the clubs in the school, which has a population of 748 students.
These are Environmental, Brownies, Jamaica 4-H, Mathematics, Christian Fellowship, Jamaica Moves, Red Cross, Spelling, Spanish, Boys Scouts and Reading Club.
Allison Nelson-Forbes, who was one of the coordinators, said the day began with a sensitisation session and dengue presentation on how to identify and destroy mosquito-breeding sites.
“Each club was given a jumbo garbage bag, and students wore gloves as they went around the entire compound picking up all the trash and plastic containers,” she said.
Nelson-Forbes noted that the children are now more aware of the dangers of dengue and will be better able to go around their homes to search for and destroy mosquito-breeding sites.
Winston Jones High School vice-principal Kenecia Stewart said that activities at the school included getting rid of plastic bottles and other containers that could collect water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
“We also cut down some shrubs,” she said.
Stewart noted that students are regularly sensitised about dengue prevention and they receive tips that they can use at home such as punching holes in cans and using mosquito repellents.
Over at Cross Keys High School, clean-up efforts on Friday included removal of plastic bottles and trash.
Dean of Discipline Samuel Smalling told JIS News that the school’s safety and security committee met and made a decision about all the areas on the compound that needed to be addressed.
“We looked at drains, we looked at where old chairs and desks are stored, and one of the major things were three pit toilets that need to be removed, but that will be a long-term project,” he said.