The COVID-19 pandemic, which has put many adults out of work, closed businesses and schools, and left many families to battle loss and grief, has taken an unthinkable toll on children around the world.
A study done by the Psychiatric Times found that 85.7% of parents reported changes in their children’s emotions and behaviors during the quarantine period, with the most frequently observed changes being difficulty concentrating, boredom and irritability.
To combat the negative social and emotional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jamaican-American children, Jamaican TV media personality and author, Amashika Lorne, has added a new layer to the #LetsGetColouring campaign, giving children access to pages from her Jamaican-themed coloring book.
The series first started in Jamaica through the island’s Jamaica Observer newspaper; and after receiving encouraging feedback, she decided to expand to the diaspora to reach Jamaican children living in South Florida, through Caribbean National Weekly.
This 5-month long activity will reach households on two levels –through virtual Zoom sessions and donations of activity packs to youth groups.
The virtual series entitled “Colour with Aunty Ama”, will include a monthly newspaper page takeover thereafter allowing children to join her online for an hour-long session learning about Jamaican culture and winning prizes for their colouring efforts.
On naming the series, Lorne shared “family is at the heart of everything that I do. Naming the series reminiscent of my role as an aunt came naturally because I do believe it takes a village to raise a child. I’m now extending myself to more children to provide a space to learn and celebrate Jamaica’s culture whether on home soil or overseas”.
Lorne said that with Florida being the home of over 300,000 Jamaican immigrants, ranking 2nd to New York in diaspora numbers, the state was an ideal market to deepen connections.
Objectives of these sessions are:
(i) to decrease levels of child stress & anxiety by providing a simple age-appropriate activity
(ii) enhance quality family time at home
(iii) preserve parts of our intangible culture; oral heritage for posterity
Consular General of Jamaica to Florida, Oliver Mair, shared that he is pleased to see this home-grown concept take flight to South Florida.
“Endeavours like these support the retention of our culture and we’re happy to facilitate where possible,” Mair said.
“In light of the covid-19 pandemic disrupting travel plans for many families during the past summer and winter seasons, they are seeking new ways to stay connected with their roots so that the children can still feel proud of their heritage. I believe the opportunity is ripe for an initiative like this wherein it has incorporated technology and maintains relevance.”
The printed pages will appear in the Caribbean News Weekly on Thursdays- February 25, March 25, April 29, and May 27. While the corresponding online activities will be on: January 30, February 27, March 27, May 1 and May 29.
The credentials for the next virtual coloring session on Feb. 27, 2021 are: Meeting ID: 894 2876 0913 and Password: COLOUR.
For more about the coloring book and campaign, visit Amashika-associates.com
|PRINTS IN THE PAPER||ONLINE ACTIVITY|
|February 25||February 27|
|March 25||March 27|
|April 29||May 1|
|May 27||May 29|