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(PRESS RELEASE) – Although the Community After School Programme (CASP) of the Ministry of Equity has been run in several communities around the island from 2009, centres in the various communities have never had a knowledge exchange. The proposed initiative was named Host A Centre Day.
The main idea behind the exchange was for participants got a chance to share and experience different activities from what is offered at their centre, socialize with peers and experience the programme at a different location.
The initiative was the idea of Programme Co-ordinator Antonia Marius who stated that: “We have been hosting the Community After School Programme for the pass ten (10) years and I thought it would have been a good idea for the centres to interact with each other. Presently we have fourteen (14) centres around the Island and they operate in isolation of each other. Furthermore I envisioned it to be a great idea for the children to know what happens at other centres. I wanted them to realize that they are not alone and I saw it as an opportunity for a cultural exchange experience.”
Deputy Director of the Community Service Department Jim Xavier welcome this new initiative: “This year we have been focusing on revamping and reenergizing the Programme and the Host a Centre Day is just one aspect of this. We now have a coordinator for the programme, a clinical phycologist and host parenting workshops. We think that Host a Centre Day will add a new dimension and bring the Community After School Programme (CASP) together as one family.”
Student from the Belle-Vue and Augier Primary School expressed their gratitude for being given the opportunity to be part of this transformative programme: “When we met the children from the Augier Combined School we felt happy and we would like to invite them to spend more time with us and learn our culture. I thank them for coming to the Belle Vue Combined School.
Similar sentiments was echoed by the Principal of the Augier Primary School: “The memories from today was the highlight of my day to hear the Laughter and discussion. I really think that this was an excellent initiative.”
Principal of the Belle Vue Combine School Stated that the programme has caused the children to become more assertive.
“The student have become more open through the interaction with students from other schools. They have become extremely comfortable. At the dance class they did not shy away. They danced with the students, prepared pastries with the other students and in all they were just happy.”
The Community After School programme (CASP) is a programme developed by the Ministry of Equity to cater for children from various communities who are vulnerable. The programme also eliminates the risk of children being left unsupervised after school hours.
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