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Above: students and teachers holding up banners during Character Day. Right: South Abaco Administrator David Rolle addressing the audience at Character Day. Photos: Brenell Higgs

Crossing Rocks Primary Gets Into Character

Crossing Rocks Primary School held its 2nd Annual Character Day in mid-September. Moderated by Shevanti Russell, teacher’s aide, the Character Day general assembly was the featured production of the weeklong activities and lessons on character at the school on Sept. 15.

Beginning with an opening song and prayer followed by the National Anthem and Pledge, the audience received a hearty welcome from students – Antoine, Akia and Quannesha – before the Scripture reading by Trishell, Kadin and Patrick.

Students of Grades 1, 2 and 3 performed an acrostic before an overview was given of Character Day by Whitney Hepburn, the Lower Primary School Teacher.

Character was defined as the “distinguishing mental and moral qualities built into a person’s life, and as “the most valuable aspect of our personhood.”

“Character Day films and activities generate conversation on 24-character traits, grouped into six categories on the Periodic Table of Character Strengths. The events are linked to the five key competencies of social and emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making,” she read. “Character influences individual success, and impacts the way in which our society functions. It is therefore important for us to ask ourselves who we are, and who we want to be in this ever-changing world.”

Students of Grade 4 and 6 sang a song written by Principal Brenell Higgs called “Character” to the tune of “Oh, Be Careful Little Hands.”

Speakers included Jacquelyn Estevez, Chief Councillor for South Abaco, and Donald Rolle, South Abaco’s Administrator. In his remarks, Administrator Rolle reinforced the themes adopted by the Ministry of Education’s theme as well as the school’s theme, while commending the staff and students for highlighting good character while fulfilling its educational goals.

During her presentation, Principal Brenell Higgs, encouraged the students to display good character by assisting those in need who were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

“It is against this background that I challenge Crossing Rocks Primary to show the good character trait of gratitude by donating to the Hurricane Irma relief efforts.  Whatever you can share with others be it non-perishable food items, clothing, shoes, monetary gifts, or even cards of hope and well wishes, give to support your fellow human beings,” Principal Higgs admonished. “Give because you can. Give to show your gratitude for being spared a similar fate.”

The students were also informed that good character is essential for citizenship beyond school life and into adulthood, and that it is a part of lifelong learning and living.

Principal Higgs brought the ceremony to a close with the vote of thanks to specially invited guests and contributors (Bahamas National Trust and Frank Hepburn) while expressing gratitude to the staff, students and PTA of Crossing Rocks Primary School, community stakeholders and the volunteer committee for doing their part. The audience was invited to join the students in singing, “It’s Love That Makes the World Go Round.”

As the day progressed, other members of the Crossing Rocks Primary family paid their due. Students and parents were engaged throughout the day with watching the Character Day video, painting tires that vegetable seeds would be planted in; playing games that displayed some of the character traits mentioned; creating poems or songs about Character Day; and organizing a non-perishable food, clothes and monetary drive to assist hurricane victims in Ragged Island.

“The community of Crossing Rocks indeed showed up to support the notion that taking time to develop good character is a worthwhile cause. Special thanks to all for making this event a success including the Manager, Mrs. Judith Knowles, from the Paint Place,” she said.

As a part of the Back-to-School events, Principal Higgs participated in a Character Day Workshop at Forest Heights Academy and returned to Crossing Rocks to share with staff and students.  She called it a fitting new school year event to herald the Ministry’s theme, “Understanding the whole picture, imaging the finished result,” while perpetuating the school’s theme, “Cultivating Our Talents while Conquering the Challenges.”

Thirty one students attend Crossing Rocks Primary School. The staff is comprised of: Mrs. Brenell Higgs, principal/teacher; Ms. Whitney Hepburn, teacher; Mr. Charles Walker, Itinerant P.E. teacher; Ms. Shevanti Russell, teacher’s aide; Mrs. Carolyn Bain, filing clerk; and Mrs. Vangy Williams, janitress.

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About Canishka Alexander

Canishka Alexander

Canishka Alexander was born in New Providence, but spent most of her childhood years on Abaco. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Abilene Christian University.

Although she has accomplished many things in life, her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her four children. She loves God, her country and people of all cultures.

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