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Mar 27, 2015

1000 Preschoolers Attend Expo in the City

If there is one place where work is mostly play, it’s in the classroom; a preschool classroom, that is. But it’s not just any kind of play; it’s one that the Quality Assurance and Department Services (QUADS) is harnessing to meet the learning needs of young students. A thousand preschoolers from the city and rural communities in the Belize District held an expo to show how interactive learning at a young age is developing students for life. Andrea Polanco stopped in at the park for the event.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Parents, teachers and hundreds of preschoolers took over B.T.L. Park for the early childhood and development expo. With nine core areas from language to drama, the intention is to create awareness and engage the attendees in unconventional but effective teaching styles.


Nadira Ross

Nadira Ross, Acting Managing Director, ECDC, Quality Assurance Development

“Parents can come out here and learn and appreciate what we are doing. It’s not only play that happens in preschool but eh play is structured in such a way where stimulations happen. Parents can come in and do some of the activities right here today. The whole purpose of bring the center to the park is for the teachers to look and see how the parents can engage in these activities at home and how can that transition from home to school take place very smoothly.”


Like music, for instance, incorporating music into the daily routine of preschool students contributes to their development. The early exposure increases skills and provides tremendous social, emotional and physical benefits.


Celia Will

Celia Will, Stepping Stone Pre-School

“Music is the heart of love and we teach those children about music because they learn to explore and by exploring, they discover. And when you all discover, you know what you really want to enjoy in music.  They have the drums. Children love to beat drums. They would get a pan or anything and beat it; they love the sound of it, the rhythm. We also have the shakers, they love to play the shakers and the guitar they love the sound of it. We also have the piano they play that with their fingers; by using their fingers they develop the little fine muscles. Music, they could go further on beyond. As you can see in our country, we have so many people who explore music and are going beyond, doing so much in music.”


Andrea Polanco

“It can also be a career?”


Celia Will

“Yes, it can be a career for them.”


And that’s why the curriculum for preschoolers isn’t prescriptive.  QUADS has done a lot to make it inclusive for different learning styles to meet the needs of the students. From use of technology to arts and craft, preschoolers are learning in a different environment.


Nadira Ross

“Learning happens through play. When children learn through play it is very meaningful. You mentioned music and we have children who learn through different learning styles and having these different learning areas caters to the different learning styles that we have.  It’s just to help bring that out; that creative; that imaginative. The whole aspect of, I can learn and I learn best doing this. I feel more comfortable doing this as opposed to being more structured, at the preschool level and moving into Infant 1 you interact. As you can see out here, just as we are setting up out here that’s how we encourage our early childhood teacher to have your classroom.  We encourage our teachers to bring that information technology into your classrooms; how you deliver your lessons; activities that you do, so we do incorporate that aspect of information technology in our classroom. Because that is the era we are in the twenty first century where technology is at the peak of everything that we do.”


Another area that preschoolers are getting very creative with is in the language arts. At today’s fair, kids had the chance to read books, color, and listen to stories. Teacher Jacqueline Sutherland says that to promote reading in these formative years is a priceless investment in a student’s life.


Jacqueline Sutherland

Jacqueline Sutherland, Wesley Preschool

“Here we have various activities, language activities of course. We have big books for them to read and later on we will have a puppet show. We have smaller books, puzzles and earlier we had audio with different stories, nursery rhymes with ABC songs and all of those things for language development.”


Andrea Polanco

“Jacquie, why is it important for us to encourage our children from a young age to read?”


Jacqueline Sutherland

“It is important from a young age because if they start early then they continue; like our theme says, learn early – learn for life. They carry it on as they progress through education in school. Through reading for us we broaden our horizons on different things, inputs from all over the world. We travel through books and that’s what we want for young children. Once we start early, then it continues throughout.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.


At today’s event, QUADS partnered with the Ministries of Human Development and Health where parents learnt about the services the Ministries provide for young children.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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