Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Isla Bonita Elementary School educates community on Health-Science issues during Open House


Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) transformed its school grounds with six vibrant booths during their annual Open House on Friday, February 10th. With four Standard Five and two Standard Six classes split into groups, students showcased their knowledge on Health-Science issues such as HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency disorder/acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), Sexually Transmitted Disease and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STDs/STIs), Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Children’s Rights, and Child Abuse.
From 10AM to 2PM, fellow IBES students, along with several community members, and students from other island primary schools attended the Open House. They went booth to booth, receiving valuable information on not only the subject, but various ways of prevention. Since many of the issues are relevant to San Pedro, these groups were creative in using, and used an array of advertising strategies, pamphlets, examples, and games to make the learning process more fun.
The first group took turns speaking on the four different types of child abuse: physical, emotional, neglect, and sexual. They explained that child abuse can be a single incident, or it can be several incidents that take place over time. After the presentation, a ball game tested the knowledge of those present. The next group spoke about a similar theme: children’s rights. Every child is born free, and entitled to rights, including the right to: an identity, an education, a family, protection from discrimination, protection from abuse, protection from harmful work, and a safe, healthy life.
The third group explained the dangers of consuming alcohol, as well as the impact of underage drinking. With many facts presented, the group members made sure to convince the public that drinking alcohol has many negative effects, including impaired memory, liver damage, cardiovascular disease, and throat cancer. The fourth booth displayed the effects of drug abuse. With marijuana and cocaine being two illegal drugs most abused in Belize, the members took turns in explain the effects and diseases affiliated with smoking said drugs, as well as cigarettes.
The Standard Six groups discussed the most delicate topics—HIV/AIDS and STDs. The first group explained the various types of STDs and STIs. As the group displayed many graphic photos, they explained how you can contract them, its symptoms, and prevention methods. The final group gave out information on HIV/AIDS. With their catchy slogan, “Be wise and condomize”, this group took turns teaching the basics of HIV/AIDS, while offering prevention methods.
According to Teacher Joyce Acosta, the groups began working on their presentations after returning from the Christmas Holidays. “These students have been researching on their topics since then. All what you see was prepared with their own hands, which makes me proud. They have all worked really hard, and my expectations have been met,” said Acosta.
Acosta stated the importance of having the youth learn about these matters. “I strongly believe that these topics should be taught more often in the upper division because that is more the timeframe these kids get exposed to those issues. Whenever they aren’t getting it from school, they get on the streets, and that’s where they learn about these issues the wrong way. We should be open to analyze and be prepared to teach our children what is the reality of life out there,” said Acosta.

The open house was a huge success. Each group of students were very interactive and well versed. A special thanks is given to the Isla Bonita Elementary School’s administration, Sharon Hazel, the San Pedro Town Council, and the San Pedro AIDS Commission. The San Pedro Sun congratulates Isla Bonita Elementary School and all the participating students on a job well done!

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