Mount Salem, St. James…Adiese A. Jonas Murphy/JAMU
While civic and corporate leaders were engaged in reading day activities across the island on Tuesday May 9, 2017, the thought of impacting the Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School blossomed into a reality for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Western Jamaica.
Through the efforts of the Children’s Ministries Director, in conjunction with the Harrison Memorial High School, approximately 40 purpose-driven students charged into the neighbouring institution’s classrooms with the sole intent of reading to them.
According to the Director of Children’s Ministries for the Adventist Church in Western Jamaica, Mrs. Carol Smythe James, it is critical for the Church’s presence to be evidenced in the community.
“It is important for us to build relationships with the schools, churches and in our community,” she said. “I’m happy about this initiative because the students from Harrison High really motivated the students at the Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School to be better individuals and to do better. I was pleased to see how attentive and receptive the students were by our visit,” she added.
While the tendency is high among youth in the volatile Mount Salem Community to exhibit deviant behaviour, Grade 9 student of the Harrison High School Dawson Ho-Sang Junior, volunteered his time to not only read to the students, but to motivate them.
“It was a truly touching experience,” he said. “The class that I went to is known for having a lot of trouble makers, but since I started talking to them and reading to them, they hung on to every word. I believe that our visit really touched them and inspired them to become great people.”
Ho-Sang Junior was one of several students who heartily affirmed the West Jamaica Conference for initiating the impact. “I think it was a great idea by the school and by the West Jamaica Conference to spearhead this initiative to impact the Mount Salem Community. If it was left up to me, I would do it again,” he concluded.
Principal of the Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School, Dr. Ann Shaw Salmon was also appreciative of the visit. “It’s very good to have you all here today,” she said. “It’s a welcomed move, after all we are neighbours and collaborators in the business of Education. You provided role models for the students just by interacting with them.”
The reading impact initiative at the Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School is part of the national ‘Read across Jamaica Day’ and Child’s Month activities, that the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists participated in.