The Charles Hyatt Foundation is a non-profit organization which aims to give young people access, opportunity and options to become positive professionals. The foundation promotes the legacy of Charles Hyatt Sr.
The foundation created a programme called ‘Straight Talk‘ to create the opportunity for students to meet with and learn from successful professionals. The meeting of the minds helps to expand each students career options which widen their access to career choices. Not a pep talk or an at-a-boy, but real-life reasoning as to the actual steps needed to become an expert in the respective careers. At the beginning of each school year, students identify their passion. Based on their passion, the foundation pairs the students with professionals who are in the area of the student’s passion. The aim of this meeting is to provide the students with a blueprint on how they can become successful in that career path. Boys Town Infant and Primary School, for the past six years, have experienced Straight Talk. Prior to Boys Town, Alpha Boys School hosted the programme.
A Cultural Journey
On June 28, the Charles Hyatt Foundation took the Grade Six students of Boys Town on a cultural field trip to the Institute of Jamaica. The first stop was at the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ). As stated on the Institute of Jamaica’s website, ACIJ’s aim is to educate the public on the contribution of African cultural retention to the Jamaican social ethos. A PowerPoint presentation, videos, and images presented aspects of African retention in our culture. On the other wing of the institute was the “African Printed Cloth Storytelling with Pattern” exhibition. This display shows the collection of cloth printed throughout the African culture. The exhibition also includes an African cloth decorated ‘selfie corner’ which allows patrons the fun of posing with beautiful patterns as their backdrop.
Upon leaving the ACIJ, the Boys Town students visited the National Museum of Jamaica. The museum presented an art exhibition which resulted from competition for children ages 12 – 19 titled, “Save Me or Lose Me’. The competition was to promote the importance of caring for planet Earth as well as highlighting Jamaica’s endangered species. At the museum, they were able to view the pieces that were submitted. The students were lucky because they got to see the “Dolls of Japan” showcase which was in Jamaica for the last day. From this exhibit, the children were exposed to the Japanese culture as well as they were able to better understand the customs and practices of Japan.
One of the main things Jamaica is known for is producing great music and musicians. Music also plays an important role in the life of our youth. Therefore, it was inevitable that the children would visit the Jamaica Music Museum (JaMM). The museum focuses on the historical timeline of the development of popular musical genres in Jamaica, such as Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, and dancehall. It also has artefacts to help show the evolution of Jamaica’s music industry through its instruments.
The Power of You
The final stop was at Liberty Hall: Legacy of Marcus Garvey, and was undoubtedly the children’s favourite visit. Liberty Hall was built by Jamaica’s first National Hero, The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and the UNIA. It is the first building of trade in Jamaica to be owned by black people. The tour of Liberty Hall was very interactive. It included videos, clips, and images about the life and legacy of the late national hero. The students were also taught the importance of loving themselves, their race, and their country. They were also taught the importance of standing up for what they believed in and to never give up when faced with adversities.
The Boys Town students and teachers were very grateful for the experience and exposure. They expressed their gratitude by thanking the organizers of the trip. The field trip filled the students with knowledge on Maroons, Tainos, African retention among other things.