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Learning to say no

The children were thrilled to meet a star, in Sergeant Carl Williams.

The children were thrilled to meet a star, in Sergeant Carl Williams.

Animated characters came to life yesterday for students at the Luther Thorne Memorial Primary School during the launch of the It’s A Fact! DVD on drug abuse education.

Two of the DVD’s stars, Sergeant Carl Williams of the Royal Barbados Police Force and his sidekick, a magical stick of chalk named Preston, were on hand for the screening of the episode, delighting the Class 3 students who attended.

Produced by local company Vividview, the 10-minute animation funded by the United States Embassy focuses on making good decisions and acting responsibly. The video includes key facts about the use and affects of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, and advises students that it is the right choice to say “No.”

US Ambassador Larry L. Palmer praised Vividview for their “labour of love” in producing the series and commended Williams and the RBPF for what he termed “a true example of the kind of outreach that benefits the whole community”.

The ambassador’s sentiments were echoed by Senator Harry Husbands, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, who stressed that it was important to see police officers “helping to maintain law and order and doing it in a much broader way”.

It’s a Fact! is a series of videos hosted by animated Caribbean children Nicolas and Marla, along with their dog Eddie. In the drug abuse education video, Williams gets help from magical chalk Preston to illustrate the ill effects of drugs and alcohol and the benefits of making wise choices.

While the students of Luther Thorne were the first to see the episode, they will not be the last as Palmer announced that the DVDs will be distributed to 105 primary schools across Barbados, along with workbooks for teachers to use in interactive exercises.

Manager of the National Council on Substance Abuse, Yolande Forde, also spoke to the students and noted that this video will make an excellent addition to the work of the NCSA across Barbados.

Written and directed by Liesje Cole-Pragnell, It’s a Fact! is illustrated by Marcel Pragnell and Jason Cole and voiced by iNDRANi with music by Brian Marshall of Kite and Shoestring Studios.

The video is freely available on YouTube and MacMillan Caribbean’s website and can also be viewed on the series’ website, where other free resources are also available.

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