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Mar 30, 2006

Child Stimulation Month ends with countrywide rallies

Story PictureThis morning, thousands of Belizean preschoolers gathered to celebrate the end of Child Stimulation Month 2006. But as News Five’s Karla Vernon discovered at the City Centre today, parents might also need some motivation.

Karla Vernon, Reporting
Today?s pre-school rally at the Belize City Centre was the culmination of an entire month of activities designed to stimulate children?s learning and curiosity.

Norma Jean Pitts, Teacher Happy Days Pre-School
?We visited the police station, we visited the fire station, we had a person from NOPCAN come in and talk about abuse and good touch, bad touch. We visited the library, we went to the library and the librarian read us a nice story, some of the children read back to the librarian by doing picture reading.?

Karla Vernon
?What did they enjoy the most??

Norma Jean Pitts
?I think they enjoyed the fire station the most. They liked being with the fire pump, hearing the engine go on, and they even give them a little ride out and back. They enjoyed that a whole lot.?

Little Mia Gill certainly enjoys going to the Catholic Diocese Child Development Centre but says preschool is not just playtime.

Karla Vernon
?What do you do in pre-school??

Mia Gill, Preschooler
?Sing.?

Karla Vernon
?What else??

Mia Gill
?Swing.?

Karla Vernon
?What do you learn??

Mia Gill
?And I do homework!?

Maritza Alas came out for her daughter today, but says more kids should have taken part in the entertainment.

Karla Vernon
?Tell us why you came out here today.?

Maritza Alas, Mother of Preschooler
?Well, to support my child. And I think it?s nice, I only wish they had something to do out there. But it was nice just to support the children. They didn?t do anything, but we?re still here. We made some noise when they called our school.?

Darrel Moguel, father, Small World Pre-School
?Everyday we send our kids to school, we don?t really know what goes on in school, so its just an opportunity to spend time with them, see what it?s like.?

Darrel Moguel says some fathers may consider school events dull, but this daddy believes children benefit from parental presence.

Darrel Moguel
?Basically, its your child as well and they appreciate it. Whether they like it or not, whether they are having fun or not, just go with them and you will see, they really enjoy it and they really appreciate you being there with them.?

Margaret Williams says the Ministry of Education has been working to increase parent participation.

Margaret Williams, Pre-School Education Officer, M.O.E.
?That has been one of our main focus, getting the parents to become more aware that it is important that the children get an early start, but it is also important that they be part of that start and instead of sending the children all the time, that they could come out and the activities themselves.?

?Yes, we know that you consider them still your babies at two years and nine months, but that is the time we need them in the centres so we can begin to do the kind of work to help them get that early start and get them on the road.?

Reporting for News Five, I am Karla Vernon.

Activities for Child Stimulation Month included cultural and sports days, community helpers like nurses and police officers coming in to give presentations, and city tours.

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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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