Tue | Jun 22, 2021

Hundreds benefit from child-intervention programme

Published:Tuesday | July 2, 2019 | 12:25 AM

Some 220 students who participated in the Child Resiliency Programme, an intervention initiative of the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), graduated from the progamme, recently.

Dr Kim Scott, director of the Child Resiliency Programme said that the children have increased their literacy levels (including computer literacy) and have fostered an increased love for learning, particularly reading.

“They are demonstrating better impulse control, increased confidence and self-esteem, an increased sense of belonging, getting along better with their parents, and better attitudes and manners,” she said proudly of the cohort.

Less conflict, aggression and fights

Scott added that the students were now better able to identify people who cared. Together, these attributes resulted in less conflict, aggression and fewer fights at home and school.

The graduates,from numerous feeder schools, attended the programme at the Hugh Sherlock Centre at Boys’ Town and Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in Kingston; Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College in Montego Bay and Falmouth All-Age School in Trelawny.

Meanwhile, she said that the parents of these children also benefitted from the programme as they were beginning to demonstrate increased strategies for conflict resolution and more involvement in their child’s life at school.

“There is an increased ability to find alternative discipline strategies apart from beating, and they are better able to set clear rules and boundaries for their child,” she added.

The programme focuses on six areas of intervention. These include nutritional support, where the children get a cooked meal each afternoon; academic support; life skills training, sports and cultural arts (to reinforce life skills) parenting and family support and teacher training.

Expounding on the life skills training, Scott said, “children are taken through a series of life skills themes during circle time covering topics such as anger management, self-esteem building, conflict resolution, setting goals, and healthy sexuality.”

The Child Resiliency Programme began in 2006 as an outreach programme of the Hope United Church under the umbrella of the Hope Counselling and Wellness Centre.

It seeks to meet the needs of pre-adolescents and build on their competencies as the most effective strategy for preventing multiple problems. The focus is on promoting physical, social, cognitive, vocational, and moral competence. In 2014, the programme began operating out of the VPA.