Reach One Child “R.O.C” Foundation kicked off its annual R.O.C School Tour last month to positive support from students, staff and administration at the Windward Road Primary and Junior High School. This year’s tour entitled R.O.C ‘Eagles & Doves’ Tour focused on lending support to the hard working teachers and staff in primary and junior high schools. In its second year, the tour aims to reach Grade 6 students from economically challenged communities as they prepare to attend high school this fall.
The ROC School Tour is one of the mentorship initiatives for the foundation offered this year as a free program to public schools. Led by singer/actress and Co-founder Cherine, the school tour is executed by a team of passionate volunteers who all participate in a watch – learn – play edu-tainment program. The ROC School Tour is extremely interactive and engages students through use of multi-media and audio visual aids that include videos, interactive and educational games, art and craft, as well as the performing arts.
According to Cherine, “we know the value of mentorship is immeasurable, so with our school tour we’ve carefully put together a program that students enjoy but at the same time address some real issues that they encounter on a daily basis.” She continued, “It’s a mentorship workshop not a concert and what we at ROC aim to do is engage the students on issues including positive communication and the value of education.”
The ROC School Tour program continues to receive positive feedback from both students and teachers. In a recent interview with Ms. Paula Hodges, a Grade 6 Teacher from Walkerwood All Age in St. Ann she shared that “The children were enthused. Children whom I’ve never heard express themselves openly were so into the program. I have to mention that the boy who told the story had me stunned. Cherine and the ROC team were able to expose another side of him that I have never seen.”
A senior teacher from Grants Pen Primary added “The ROC School Tour program was much better than I expected. It was engaging and fun. I strongly believe that the students were motivated and everyone had a chance to participate. I would like to see the program extended to the rest of the school population.”
Although the program is designed to be a ninety minute workshop, most students become so involved in the games and discussion that they routinely insist on staying even after the program ends. When asked if there was anything he would change an 11 year old male student from Exchange All Age said “I wouldn’t change anything. It was almost too perfect.” When asked what he learned he continued, “Don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goal.” A 12 year old female student from Rollington Town primary added “I learned that no one can hold me down and I can be anything that I put my mind to.”
Additional support came in the form of guest speakers and mentors from a variety of professions including Journalism, Finance, Sports, Engineering, Medicine as well as Entrepreneurs. This semester the students shared ideas and engaged in lively discussions with Journalist – Leighton Levy, International Footballer- Ricardo “Bibi” Gardener, Financial Advisor – Natoya Anderson, Goldsmith/Jeweler Duane Bennett and Internationally recognized reggae singer Tarrus Riley.
For the spring semester the ROC Eagles & Doves School Tour worked with well over 3000 students. Some of the schools visited are Windward Road Primary, Rollington Town Primary, Jessie Ripoll Primary, Norman Gardens Primary and Junior high in Kingston. Excelsior Primary in St. Andrew , Grants Pen Primary in St. Thomas as well as Ocho Rios Primary, Exchange Primary and Walkers Wood Primary in St. Ann. As part of joint Labor Day project The R.O.C Eagles and Doves School Tour partnered with UNICEF and The Ashe Performing Arts Ensemble for a performance arts festival entitled “Through the Eyes of a Child” on May 23rd in Kingston. The Labor Day initiative included students from Dintill Technical High School, St. Hildas, McGrath High, Ewarton Primary as well as other schools within the corporate area.
The R.O.C School Tour 2013 is made possible through the generosity of founders Cherine Anderson and Patrick Lindsay, with additional support from Zlink Entertainment Inc., Cherine TV, Goodeye Development Group, Kingston Bookshop and Docutech Ltd. The ‘Eagles & Doves’ School Tour will resume in the fall of 2013. For further updates on the tour visit Reach One Child “R.O.C” Foundations’ official website.