JIS Kicks off Heritage Month School Tour

The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) on Tuesday (October 11) kicked off its annual Heritage Month school tours with stops at Half-Way Tree and Mona Heights Primary schools in the Corporate Area.

The institutions were the first of the more than 20 to be presented with heritage packages comprising books and posters produced by the agency.

Expressing gratitude for the publications, Principal of Half-Way Tree Primary, Carol O’Connor Clarke, pointed to the impact of the JIS and its programming on the students.

“JIS, the voice of Jamaica, you are the voice of our nation’s students and we want to say a big thank you, and we are proud to know that our school was chosen to be the first (on the tour),” the Principal said.

The annual school tours form part of the agency’s activities to mark Heritage Month in October, which is this year being observed under the theme ‘Our Heritage… our Legacy… our Strength.’

Chief Executive Officer of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, explained that every year at this time, the JIS selects a number of early-childhood, primary and high schools to visit.

She noted that the agency places great value on this kind of engagement “as it allows us to interface with our young viewers and listeners as we work to engender nationalism”.

“We donate packages of our publications with information on national heroes, symbols, emblems and other aspects of our nation’s heritage and culture, which we know will be useful in reinforcing lessons in heritage studies and civics taught in the classroom,” she said.

“We also use this opportunity to capture cultural performances for radio, television and social media. Students and teachers are always very enthusiastic to showcase their talent and understanding of our history through very creative original items,” she continued.

The school tours are also used to promote the annual JIS Heritage Competition which is now open for entries. Eligible persons can enter one of three competitions – Essay, Poster and the inaugural Photo contest.

For the Heritage Essay Competition, now in its sixth year, primary-level students from nine to 12 years old, are being asked to write an original essay on the topic ‘Who is Your Favourite Jamaican Sportsman or Sportswoman and Why?’

Eligible students should submit a 400-500-word piece through the JIS website, which will be judged on relevance to the topic, originality, accuracy and analysis of research data, writing style and language skills.

The Heritage Poster Competition invites submission in one of two categories – graphic designs and illustrations, to be judged on interpretation of the topic, originality, creativity, artistry and presentation.

The topic for the poster competition is ‘Jamaica’s Rich Sporting Heritage’ and entries should be 11 inches by 17 inches in dimension, in landscape or portrait orientation. Importantly, graphic posters should include no other image but those provided by JIS, and entries must also be submitted through the website: www.jis.gov.jm.

The Photo Competition is open to tertiary-level students, and entries will be judged on interpretation of the topic, originality, composition, technique and impact.

This year’s theme is ‘I Am a Sports Champion’. Photos should be submitted using a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox, OneDrive (SkyDrive) or Google Drive.

Students of Half-Way Tree Primary School in St. Andrew perform a cultural item during the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) Heritage Month School tour on Tuesday (October 11). More than 20 early-childhood, primary and secondary institutions will receive donations of educational material produced by the agency during the school visits.


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