29 June 2020
All schools and nurseries have been invited to choose a tree to plant in their grounds, to celebrate and mark Jersey’s first Children’s Day, this Friday, 3 July 2020.
Children and young people have also been invited to take part in a creative tree project, to celebrate childhood, using the symbols of roots, growth and blossom through various pieces of work such as posters, poems, artwork, models or song.
Schools and nurseries are encouraged to display their projects and children and young people, who take part from home, can also share their work, in their windows on Children’s Day.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the arrangements for the inaugural Children’s Day this year have had to be scaled back. Nonetheless, in recognition of the importance of what will become an annual event, the Government of Jersey, working closely with the Citizens’ Panel, has been working on a plan to ensure that 3 July still goes ahead as a day to remember the lessons of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry and to celebrate the talents and potential of the Island’s children and young people.
Trees have been chosen as this year’s theme as a symbol of regeneration and growth.
Schools and nurseries have been provided with a selection of trees to choose from including fruit, flowering or decorative, which will be ordered on Children’s Day ready for planting in the Autumn term.
Jersey Youth Service have also created a Kindness Tree that is on display in their window of the Youth Enquiry Service Project at La Colomberie.
The States of Jersey Police are also planning to mark the day with a focus on their pledges to children and young people, which include growing up safely, learning and achieving, living healthy lives and being seen and heard.
Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec said: “This year’s plans for Children’s Day have had to be scaled back due to the Coronavirus pandemic and we are unable to go ahead with our plans for a fun, public family event.
“However, we will continue to mark our first Children’s Day on 3 July as both a day of remembering Jersey’s past, but a day to look forward to bright futures. Jersey Children’s Day is a day to remind children and young people that they have a voice and should always be able to express themselves, share their opinions and be listened to at any time.
“I would like to pay tribute to the Citizens’ Panel, which was set up following the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, who have been instrumental in forging links with this day to ensure that children and people who have experienced trauma are not forgotten. This theme is central to their ideas of regeneration and growth and listening to and involving children and young people, which is part of the Government’s pledge to put children first.”
Children’s Day was one of the suggestions made by a Citizens' Panel, a group of independent Islanders who have been working with the Government of Jersey for more than two years.
The Citizen’s Panel said: "As members of the Citizens Panel we have met, discussed, learnt, challenged and eventually reached a set of recommendations on how Jersey can best remember the past abuse of children while in Jersey’s care system. One of our key recommendations is Jersey Children’s Day; a wonderful opportunity to both remember the survivors and victims and provide a focus on children and young people living in the island now.
"Through this day we hope people will recognise how vital it is that young people’s voices are heard, and their opinions valued by us all. We hope this day will inspire children and adults to try new things and think in new ways, leaving a positive footprint for future generations. We cannot change our past, but we can set a course to regain Jersey’s beauty not just from the outside but also from within.”’
The focus of Children’s Day 2020, in schools and nurseries, is centred on regeneration and growth. This theme also links with the views from children and young people during the recent survey, in which they shared their experiences of the COVID-19 lockdown and their hopes for the future.
Schools, nurseries, and individuals who wish to celebrate their creative tree projects are asked to display their work in their buildings, windows and post their pictures on social media, by 3 July, using the hashtag #JerseyChildrensDay