CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, April 29, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — Charlestown-based Steppin’ Stone Nursery School celebrates its 31st anniversary on Saturday May 1 with a measure of pride, having partnered with the parents in the national war against Covid-19 pandemic with the production of two Covid-19 awareness videos that feature on national television in the Federation.
The first video, ‘Wash your hands’, was released in March last year at the height of the awareness campaign on how to avoid the Covid-19 virus by using non-pharmaceutical measures. Appropriately named, and themed, the video has been appearing on ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) National Television on St. Kitts, and on Nevis Television (aka NNC) on Nevis.
For those who have not seen the video, they will be excused to think that actors in the video are adults specially selected to take part, and most likely the teachers at the nursery school. The actors in this video, and the second one which was released on Thursday April 22, are toddlers who are yet to make their third birthday.
Those who have seen the video have been wondering how the toddlers came up with that high level of acting. Founder and Director of Steppin’ Stone Nursery, Mrs Leonie Dasent, is thanking first and foremost parents of the children for appreciating the seriousness of Covid-19 and for allowing their children to take part in the production of the two videos.
“As for the first video, it is funny but the idea came while I was in my bathroom,” said Mrs Dasent. “I kept washing my hands and then all of a sudden a song came to me, ‘wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands’; Then when I came out of the bath I started writing the song, and the following morning I shared it with my staff and they said, ‘oh, it is a good idea’.”
Steppin’ Stone Nursery has two locations, the original one fondly referred to as ‘Phase One’ in Lower Stoney Grove which hosts infants, and ‘Phase Two’ on Pump Road also in Stoney Grove which is the home of toddlers, who were the actors in the two videos.
According to Mrs Dasent, once she shared the idea with her staff they came together and worked as a team and gave the toddlers their lines. For those children who had outstanding lines, the school gave the paper to their parents who assisted the children to recite.
The country has successfully managed the pandemic through the use of non-pharmaceutical measures, having recorded no death or serious illness and most importantly no community spread as it relates to the 44 cases of Covid-19 reported in the country, all of which were imported.
With the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine where Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, and Premier of Nevis the Hon Mark Brantley are urging members of the public aged 18 and above to get vaccinated, the toddlers at the Steppin’ Stone Nursery have come up with a relevant video, appropriately named ‘Covid! Covid! Go Away!’
“For this second one, the inspiration came from one rainy day when rain started pouring and the majority of the children just ran to the window and started singing, ‘rain, rain go away!; rain, rain go away!’,” noted Mrs Dasent. “At that moment a light bulb went off in my head, as I am always thinking, and I said you know what, I think I could turn that into a video ‘Covid, Covid, go away!’.
According to Mrs Dasent, for the fact that Covid-19 vaccine rollout was the hot topic, she reasoned that they could take that spin adding that if persons were to take the vaccine, Covid will go away or lessen the chances of one getting sick. Pronouncements by Prime Minister Harris and Premier Brantley as they urge people to take the vaccine are also included in the new video.
“Again all staff was on board and the children were excited, as when one was told he was to be giving the vaccine, he proclaimed that he would be a doctor, and really and truly he is the son of a doctor,” observed Mrs Dasent. “That inspired me to take action, and it only took a week to have the video produced.”
She added: “And just to remind everyone – these children are not even three years old. They are just about going into their third birthday so I say, thanks to them, thanks to their parents for allowing them to take part, because you know some parents do not want videos taken of their children.”
According to Mrs Dasent, after the video was made and before it was released, the school showed it to all the parents to get their comments and their well wishes. A copy of the video was also shown to Prime Minister Harris a week before it was officially released and after watching it, he gave it his blessings.
The second video is now on rotation both on ZIZ Television and on Nevis Television. The nursery school proprietor is thanking the two national broadcasting entities for running the educational video as the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis pitches ahead on the road to attaining herd immunity – over 70 percent of the population vaccinated against Covid-19.
“In light of our 31st anniversary which will be on Saturday the 1st of May, I have spoken to Mr St. Clair ‘GQ’ Liburd who hosts a 30-minute children’s programme ‘Totally for Kids’,” observed Mrs Dasent. “He normally puts up a quiz and the for this Friday, April 30, as part of our giving back to the community the child who will call in during the call-in-session with the correct answer will receive exercise books courtesy of Steppin’ Stone Nursery.”