STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE SHARIE B. DE CASTRO
MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, YOUTH AFFAIRS & SPORTS
THIRD SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FIFTH
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
THURSDAY, 7TH SEPTEMBER 2023
STATEMENT ON SUMMER CAMPS AND AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMMES BY THE DEPARTMENT YOUTH AFFAIRS & SPORTS
Madam Speaker, the development of our children and young people is of utmost importance to the continued development of the Territory. Thus, I am pleased to highlight the reintroduction of Summer Camps in July 2023 through the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports. A total of three separate camps were offered: the Youth Summer Camp, S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp and the Multi-Sport Summer Camp.
Madam Speaker, the Youth Summer Camp catered to children 5-16 years and offered, arts and crafts, cookery, S.T.E.A.M. activities, recreation, field trips and swimming. The youth camp centres were held in Tortola at the Francis Lettsome Primary School, the Elmore Stoutt High School and the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School and in Virgin Gorda at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre, in Anegada at the Claudia Creque Educational Centre and in the Jost Van Dyke at the Jost Van Dyke Primary School. Madam Speaker, the S.T.E.A.M.
Summer Camp catered to children 8-14 years and was held at the Elmore Stoutt High School. The first of its kind, this camp engaged young people in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Participants were also given the opportunity to develop their swimming skills. An exhibition of the projects was displayed at end of the camp.
Madam Speaker, additionally, one camp was dedicated entirely to sports. The Multi-Sport Summer Camp was held in Tortola at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex and the E. Walwyn Brewley Ball Park, and on Virgin Gorda at the Valley field and the Jeffrey Caines Sports Arena. This camp catered to children 5-16 years and provided an opportunity to learn skills in basketball, volleyball and softball. Participants were exposed equally to all three sports. The camps ended with a Fun Day and the children got the opportunity to enjoy food and drinks, music, water slides, bouncy houses, face painting and games.
Madam Speaker, three hundred and ninety (390) children were registered for the Youth and S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camps and one hundred and sixty (160) for the Multi- Sports Camp. Thus, a grand total of five hundred and fifty (550) children were actively engaged for the summer. This was made possible due to funds allocated by the Ministry of Education Youth Affairs and Sports in the amount of $190,000.00 (one hundred and ninety thousand).
Madam Speaker, a new school year is upon us and students will be back in school starting 11th September. After a haitus of several years, DYAS is preparing to relaunch the After School Youth Development Programme on Monday, 2nd October 2023. Three programmes will be offered: S.T.E.A.M., Academic Tutoring and Grassroots Sports. These programmes will be held at all primary and secondary public schools Monday to Thursday, 3:45pm - 5:45 pm. Student registration forms are available at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports and at all public schools. Students must be registered to be eligible for enrollment into the programme. Parents and guardians are encouraged to complete the form and submit it to the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports by Thursday, 21st September, 2023.
Madam Speaker, as a result, students will be engaged in activities that will help to improve academic success, develop physical fitness and core values and foster social and critical thinking skills in a safe, structured and supervised environment. Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports through the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports is committed to providing opportunities for our young people to develop and excel through the After School Youth Development Programme. Thank you Madam Speaker.