September 8, 2014
Some 100 students in the Corporate Area and St. Catherine started the school year with a new found appreciation for the environment after participating in summer sessions hosted by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) at their local libraries.
Using interactive multimedia presentations and art and craft, the NEPA team taught students aged 6 to 12 about Jamaica's endemic animals and shared tips on how they can protect these creatures and the environment in general. Each session ended with a tutorial on origami - the Japanese art of paper folding. As such participants walked away with a wealth of knowledge and hand made keepsakes they created themselves.
The Agency hosted sessions at four libraries - Waterford and Bridgeport in St. Catherine and Port Royal and Harbour View in Kingston.
Kay-Ann Miller, Senior Librarian at NEPA said that the presentations were aimed at increasing awareness of environment and planning issues among children who may not have been exposed to this information in such an interactive format.
"We wanted to bring to life - in a practical and exciting way - the lessons on the environment that these students would have been taught in school," she said
NEPA has done previous summer programmes and the plan is to make the presentations an annual event.
Alison Thomas, librarian at the Harbour View Branch Library said that she looks forward to continuing the partnership with the Agency. She added that the NEPA presentation was well received and she was particularly delighted with the individual attention that was given to each participant.
"The NEPA team took the time to assist children who were having difficulty with this art technique. This reinforced our lessons in art as we also taught the children how to make dolls and butterflies using origami," said Ms. Thomas.
NEPA's Public Education and Corporate Communication Manager, Dionne Rose informed that the Agency also has a special library - The Documentation Centre - located at its head office on Caledonia Avenue in Cross Roads with material that focuses on environmental and spatial planning topics.
"The Documentation Centre is a useful resource that can be accessed by students, teachers and the wider public. We invite members of the public to make use of the services of our library," she said noting that persons can either walk-in or make an appointment.