NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Parents and kids are in for a treat as the Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) hosts its first National Day of Play on Saturday, August 14.
The event, which is a progression of ORG’s National Play Date initiative, will broadcast live on Cable Bahamas for families to take part in.
“The National Day of Play is part of ORG’s mission to develop innovative approaches of improving education outcomes for all,” according to ORG Consultant Tiffany A Bain. “It’s the combination of all three of ORG’s Early Childhood initiatives designed to improve access and attention to development and learning in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.”
The program uses parent engagement and involvement as the driver of improved long-term outcomes for students beginning in the pre-primary years. Research identifies parent engagement/involvement as significant factor that impacts student academic success — a factor that has implications for the country’s economic predictions, crime rates and labor market opportunities.
ORG Education hosted its first National Playdate back on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the Edmund Moxey Park, Blue Hill Road, on New Providence. The program stalled due to the current pandemic but has pivoted in a new direction, which has included a digital newsletter and now a video program with a playlist companion activity.
“The theme of the inaugural National Day of Play is ‘Talking About Emotions’. Some 250 playdate kits are being put together and will be shipped out to some of the Family Islands in time for the viewing on August 14th,” explained Bain.
“We are grateful to Cable Bahamas for partnering with us for this pilot encounter and hope to expand our reach as the program progresses.”
Families who receive the playdate kits will then be able to watch the programming and participate along with a pre-recorded playdate developed just for that day.
“I’m a firm believer that if you like something, encourage it,” said Damian Sands, a father of four who took part in the pre-recording activity. “I think it’s an awesome packet and good tool for parents to use with their younger children to help them to traverse their feelings and actually describe and define those feelings for them.”
According to Bain, the program aims to improve parent attachment, engagement and involvement and child development outcomes beginning in the earliest years for significant and sustainable impact on both academic and social outcomes.
“Early Childhood Development is recognized as bringing the greatest return on social and economic investment and as the most efficient and effective strategy to reach early and formative learning goals. Public and private partners are encouraged to join ORG in this national investment in the future of The Bahamas,” she said.
“I love when my [Bahamian] people are doing excellent work, man,” Sands said. “Something like this can do nothing but good for us and I look forward to seeing much more of the playdates happening and I pray that it will be a consistent thing.”
Parents interested in participating in the National Day of Play can download the playdate kit materials from ORG’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ORGBahFoundation.