The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, through its Student Support Services Unit and the University of the West Indies (UWI) social work programme, are presently undertaking a student empowerment programme at the Belmont Primary and Milton Lynch Schools.

At the Belmont School, a pilot project entitled Count Me In 1-0-1, which is in its second phase of implementation, is a strategic and comprehensive programme that caters to the high anxiety and stress levels of students. These psychological disorders may invariably affect students??? performance at school.

The Count Me In 1-0-1 Project is being coordinated and facilitated by Delicia Sobers, who is a Social Work Intern. Participants engaged in Phase 1- The Goal-Achievers Realising Optimism Within (GROW) Programme and are now sequentially ushering in Phase 2 Courageously Standing In-Line Programme.

Additionally, the programme is a continued effort to address cases of ???at-risk students??? referred to the department as outlined in the mandate detailed in the Student Support Service Unit Operational Procedures Manual (2008). The Anti-Bullying Campaign (ABC) Drive 2014 will be an integral aspect of Phase 2 of the ???Courageously Standing In-Line??? programme. Moreover, (ABC) Drive 2014 is also a school-based pilot empowerment project.

Ms. Sobers, along with co-facilitator, Kara Maynard, are both in the final year of the BSc. Social Work at the UWI. This collaborative initiative entails a preventative and responsive approach to the societal concern of bullying at both schools; namely- Belmont Primary and Milton Lynch. It will address the issues of peer pressure, anger management, conflict resolution, teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving and bullying.

Thursday, March 13, has been chosen as Bullying Awareness Day at Milton Lynch and it will see children engaged in a number of activities including a poster competition. There will also be a Bullying Awareness Ribbon Drive where donations from the indigo ribbons to teachers, parents and students will go to those in need within the school???s community. The event starts at 9:00 a.m.

Using the Whole School Approach, the programme at Milton Lynch involves parenting clinics and workshops, teacher development workshops and a number of initiatives aimed at building better relations among students, the school and their community.

As part of the programme, the two interns from the Cave Hill Campus are working collaboratively on this venture. The parenting workshop entitled: Active Parenting Now will be coordinated by Ms. Maynard, who is also a Social Work Intern and assisted by Ms. Sobers.

It will entail a series of interactive workshops, the objectives of which are to allow parents to better network with each other, and to help teachers and other professionals to assist children with challenges such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and disciplinary problems.

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