MONDAY JUNE 12 2017: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO –School children ages 5-8years are reaping the benefits of participating in the successful emotional literacy programme, known as ‘Zippy’s Friends’.
In 2014, the Digicel Foundation, partnered with School Leadership Centre of Trinidad & Tobago, to assist in implementing the Ministry of Education-endorsed programme. Dayanand Memorial Vedic School in Penal is the most recent school to complete the six-module Programme.
On the day Diana Mathura-Hobson, Digicel Foundation Project Coordinator and Tara Lalgee, of the School Leadership Center visited the school, the students were on the final segment of Zippy’s Friends, which deals with ‘Coping with Death, Change and Loss’. Sitting in on the class taught by Ms. Rekha Roopnarine, the two monitored the group of youngsters as they spoke freely about losing a loved one.
As part of the process the children are taught how to say “goodbye” to a loved one - this took the form of ‘Zippy’ the pet insect who dies. When asked if anyone knew what a funeral was, much to the astonishment of the teacher and the visitors, one little girl stated that, “a funeral was a celebration of a person’s life”.
Other segments covered in the Programme are: Feelings; Communication; Making and Breaking Relationships and Conflict Resolution.