Barbadian wants to use kids magazine to shift youths’ interest from electronic devices

by Donna Sealy

Debra Carrington being interviewed by a young reporter.
Debra Carrington being interviewed by a young reporter.

Have you ever had an idea and just can’t shake it no matter how hard you try?

You go on to other things, come back, hoping to move that thought from the incubator stage in your head to a reality but nothing happens.

That’s what happened to Debra Carrington, or Debra Clarke, as most people still refer to her.

From her days at Ellerslie Secondary School she wanted to have a magazine for children produced by an editorial team comprising children of all ages and while she might be a little closer than she was a few years ago, she’s still a few steps off the actual product.

But that’s not going to faze her determination to produce that magazine which she hopes will be filled with information on every thing they will be interested in such as beauty, art, music, and each other with an emphasis on things Barbadian.

Kid Power Newz Magazine, is the name of the publication she is hoping to have printed soon even though financial sponsorship is a hiccup.

“Sadly it’s at the same stage it was year’s ago because I had done so many other things. There was a time when it would have come. I think because I’m a nobody, no one was so eager to sponsor or donate towards it. I’m not letting that stop me. I will be trying again from the beginning.

The editorial team of Kid Power News
Magazine posing for a group shot.

“The outline of the magazine is there, there’s always something to write about but it’s actually getting it off the ground and out there. I’ve spoken to a lot of young people and they’re eager to have it come out but printing is the biggest obstacle right now, ” she told Bajan Vibes.

Knowing the costs involved, Debra is adamant she will not be going digital because she thinks that children don’t read enough.

“I know that we are in this age when every thing is on a computer but I want kids to actually pick up a book and read. As much as I am getting negative feedback on that I think it is up to stop saying that they’re not going to pick up the books and actually push for it a bit more.

“In this day and age everything is on a computer. The electricity goes off, or the battery’s down the children don’t know what to do. There’s nothing wrong with reading actual hard copy. If going digital is the only way for me to get it publish, then I’d rather not do it,” she asserted.

She wants he young readers to put aside the electronic devices and get lost in the pages of the magazine, have discussions with their parents or their peers and show them the contents.

“I don’t know if I can stress enough, I know that I am going against the grain against electronics but it is something I’m willing to really, really push for. Our kids are lost. They use the tablets, the laptops, the desk tops and the phones, but they’re not actually going to, unless they’re told, to find out things that are really important to them. Everything is games and Facebook and even if it’s for 10 minutes, if you can get them away from the electronic everything and get them to actually read about them, about no one in Hollywood, no one in New York, but about someone who is in New Orleans, or the heights and terraces in Barbados, that’s what I’m pushing for” she stated.

kidzpowermagazinephotographerCarrington’s intention is to have a website and social media pages with corresponding articles and snippets of some of those articles, but she will be pushing to get the funds to have what she hopes would be a monthly publication off the ground. So she will turn her focus to the public to assist her with the first edition.

Among the table of contents will be stories on religion, Kid-ability Corner which should sensitise youth about the differently-abled, careers, health, beauty, addiction and substance abuse, how to spot the signs and get help for their friends, photo pages of events they attended.

“We will be encouraging the young artist and young photographer to send in their work. I’m also going to have two contests -photography and art where from the doodler to the professional, can interpret a theme and submit it and hopefully with help from sponsors, we’d be able to award them with something substantial in that particular field.

“I have [a team] of about 12 right now with the youngest being 13 and the eldest 18. Some of them have graduated and will be going to UWI and BCC but in between school they’re going to juggle doing this. The bulk of it will be done by me and a couple of adults, who will actually put it together,” she shared.

They all have different strengths and she will work with them to suit. She also has plans to use students, apart from those on the editorial team, as contributors.

Furthermore, Clarke is hoping to have the magazine sold in all schools so the children would not have to go to stores to buy it. She is also optimistic about offering them an incentive for selling the most copies would she figures would go towards any fund raising ventures.

Late last month, she held a training session at Combermere School for her team where photographer Remy Rock was among the resource people who spoke to them. The session also involved different scenarios. She has also invited CBC’s Belle Holder to address areas such as interviewing techniques and other aspects of journalism.

Carrington is adamant Kid Power Newz Magazine will be published and she is unrelenting in realising her dream of showing Barbadian children the good that they can be.

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