by Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Fri. Sept. 16, 2022
The atmosphere inside the Belize City Civic Center this past Friday was energetic, as over three thousand primary school students gathered for the annual Children’s Rally. After having to attend virtual rallies for the past two years, the children, who came from schools near and far in the city, made evident the fact that they were thrilled to be seeing each other face to face once again. Encouraged by the Mistress and Master of Ceremony, Renata Samuels and Rafael Roberts, their cheers could be heard even from the entrance of the auditorium.
It was a day enjoyed not only by the students, but teachers and leaders as well. Belize City mayor Bernard Wagner stepped outside to speak with us and told us that every opportunity to be in the presence of the country’s future leaders is a riveting experience, and Friday’s rally was no exception.
He said that, after having to endure two years of not being in school, the return to face-to-face activities was welcomed by the students, and the rally is just one example of what they have been missing out on.
And what was the main message to the students for this year? According to Mayor Wagner, the message was a simple one:
“If we are able as leaders and as teachers … to teach our children to be a good person—it’s a simple process. Be kind to your fellow student. Be respectful to your teacher. Be respectful to your parent. Love your parents. Love your country. If we start to instill that from a very early age, we will have a wonderful generation going forward,” he said.
That message was just one part of the program of activities that took place during the rally, which, Darlene Lozano Moody told us took just about two weeks to plan.
Ms. Moody is the Interim Officer in Charge of the Belize District Education Center, located on Mahogany Street Extension. She said that the rally, a patriotic activity, serves to help in instilling Belizean pride in students during what is perhaps one of the country’s most important months.
“When we organize the rally, it’s not about the adults participating. It’s about the students. We need to build good Belizean citizens, and we start with our students,” said Lozano Moody.
The planning of this year’s Children’s Rally was a collaborative effort among Belize City schools, the Belize City Council, the Institute of Creative Arts, and the Ministry of Education.
The students were treated to a wide array of prizes as well as a performance by local artist Cocono Bwai. They were also quizzed with trivia questions to test their knowledge of Belize’s September Celebrations.