Police unveil Magic Programme in schools

SKNIS Photo: Detective Powell addressing students

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 19, 2012 (SKNIS): Students in primary schools across St. Kitts and Nevis are gaining practical life lessons as the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force implements its MAGIC programme.

MAGIC which is the acronym for Mentoring, Advising, Guiding and Instructing Children is a programme designed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, USA. SKNIS captured scenes from the launch of the 10-week programme at the Tucker-Clarke Primary School in Newtown.

“The programme will be replacing the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) progamme,” Detective Lyndita Powell of the Special Victims Unit told the students.”It’s more advanced and gives more information because it’s not just about drugs, it addresses peer pressure, bullying, and cyber interference. It’s a lot of fun. It’s not just me talking and you listening. There’s a lot of fun stuff to do.”

Powell is coordinating the MAGIC programme in St. Kitts. She revealed that this first phase is being introduced to Grades 6 and 3 at Tucker-Clarke. Similar sessions are taking place at the Irish Town, Dr. William Connor, Tabernacle, St. Paul’s and Newton Ground Primary Schools in St. Kitts as well as in several schools in Nevis.

She explained that Grade 6 students are key in advancing the message.

SKNIS Photo 1: Tucker Clarke Students during MAGIC Session

“We chose Grade 6 because we know they will be leaving the primary school shortly and when they go into high school where they will mix with persons throughout the country, we want them to be prepared and equipped to deal with the different issues.”

Tucker-Clarke’s Deputy Principal Leslie Richardson indicated that the school has quite a number of initiatives that encourage youth to be positive. These include promoting principles and values in the classroom and at general assembly, holding student conferencing sessions that encourage dialogue between the youth by having them review challenges they face in and out of the classroom and present possible solutions.

Mr. Richardson said MAGIC is a welcome intervention.

“We feel very confident and very proud to have such an initiative coming to our school which will form part of our [strategy] to fight crime and violent behaviour among our students,” he said. “There are a lot of social ills that our students are exposed to and so with this programme we hope – in addition to our other activities – to curb certain negative activities and behaviour among our students.”

At the end of the 10-week sessions, students will be tested and successful candidates will become graduates of the MAGIC programme.

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