Rhythm & Views

An outlook on young adult interests and concerns

St. John Youth Want More Activities 

By Malik Stevens

Malik Stevens

 Living on St. John can be hard for some students. They watch television, read newspapers, listen to the radio and hear about the amazing activities and programs kids all over the world, and even in the rest of the Virgin Islands, are able to partake in. Why should the children of our island be deprived of these same clubs, sport programs, shows and opportunities?

Right now on the island, there is a serious lack of in-school and after-school activities. Kids are leaving school to hang out around Cruz Bay, go home and play video games, watch TV, or just talk on their phones, and during school, it is all classes — no clubs, no lunchtime activities, and most of all, no fun. The children of the island are bored. There is not even anything to do on the weekend. There needs to be drastic change. When kids are not entertained, they lose motivation, not only in school, but in life as well.

“There needs to be more activities for the kids to do,” said Gifft Hill School English teacher Teresa Fraguada. “The kids constantly complain about the lack of activities on the island. There needs to be a change, but this can only begin with the children — the children need to get more active and need to take more initiative.”

There is a wide variety of clubs and activities that would make the island a bit more lively, not only for the children, but for the grown-ups as well. A lot of kids like cars, so there could be a club that furthers kids’ knowledge of cars. A lot of kids like dancing, so we could create dance groups, and many kids enjoy acting and putting on shows. This can lead  to clubs where kids produce plays and skits. Activities such as forums, dances, local beach days, movie nights, and year-round sports programs would be greatly appreciated by the children of St. John. These simple things would help a great deal.  

These types of clubs and activities play a major role in kids’ lives. The clubs teach children sportsmanship, leadership skills, better social skills, commitment — something that many kids are lacking these days — and give the children direction. When children leave these types of clubs, they become more respectful and responsible in life. The activities are much needed. They let kids free up and have a good time. As the old saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Another benefit to these clubs and activities are recognized when kids go to colleges or grow up and get jobs. These days, colleges are not only looking at grades, but at whether students are active in the community, and which clubs they participate in. Where there is a lack of activity, there is a lack of opportunity, and where there is a lack of opportunity there will be a lack of success. It should not be like this for our island. A new year is coming, a change can be made.