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|Exceptional Educational Outreach Update: Opening Hearts and Minds|
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|Posted by:||Apr 12th 2006, 01:19:07 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||OPENING BOOKS AND MINDS
EEO Newsletter 2006 spring
Full-colour newsletter at http://www.altrue.net/altruesite/files/islandsped/eeo%20spring%2006.pd
Speech therapy and Audiologist visits
This fall term we had two visits from speech therapists. Dr. Sharon Clarke and Paula Bowleg who have made time to assist Eleuthera despite their very busy schedules. They were able to perform over 20 hearing assessments for the students in the northern district. They spent their morning in Bluff at North Eleuthera Primary and the afternoon at Harbour Island All Age School. Speech therapy evaluations and follow-up meetings with parents were also held for 7 children.
For more in depth evaluations and hearing aid adjustments and fittings, EEO had the assistance of Dr. Kim Scrivin, the only audiologist in the country. Ms. Scrivin worked with students from the central and Southern district schools of Eleuthera providing additional hearing assessments. In addition, she also outfitted two students with much needed hearing aids that were generously donated by Harbour Island hotel owner Mario Grant.
EEO welcomes enthusiastic new teacher
EEO is fortunate to have a dedicated enthusiastic new teacher, Kathy Tabb, in the South of Eleuthera. She is working as an itinerant teacher between three schools in the Southern district. Kathy Tabb received her masters in teaching from the University of Colorado, Boulder and taught in Denver for two years before coming to the Island School to help design the humanities curriculum. While at the Island School, she started up a tutoring program at deep Creek Primary school with the island school students. This involvement in the community inspired her to reach out more to make a difference locally. Kathy’s enthusiasm to make a difference in the community and EEO’s mission of helping children reach their potential was a perfect match. She now works as a special education resource room teacher between three schools: Rock Sound Primary, Deep Creek Primary, and Green Castle Primary School. Resource rooms are being established in each school to work with small groups of children that have learning challenges .In these resource rooms small libraries and specialized educational materials are available. Under Kathy’s drive, EEO is establishing a professional resource library with various books, videos on special education topics to aid the regular education teachers in the schools as well... To build local capacity, Kathy has integrated local volunteer training into the weekly routine. On Wednesdays she still organizes the students from the Island School as literacy tutors at Deep Creek Primary. Kathy’s motivation, skills and determination make her a wonderful new addition to the EEO staff that will be making an impact on many families’ lives.
CONNECTING WITH NEW YORK CITY
Emily De Liddo, a trainer from Colombia University in NYC visited Eleuthera for a very progressive and informative multi media seminar for the teachers on Eleuthera in November. Representatives from each school were allocated a Friday afternoon off to attend. This was the first part of a workshop that will be continued in April. Ms. DeLiddo helped the teachers find ways to increase writing and expand upon skill building through multi- intelligences.
Columbia University Reading/ Writing workshop part 1
By Emily De Liddo
Last summer on a trip to Harbour Island, I met an EEO teacher, Crystal Lawson. Crystal explained to me what EEO as an organization stood for and the movement they were making through the implementation of Special Education programs in the Bahamas. It was inspiring. In hearing my occupation as a former classroom teacher and current position as a literacy consultant for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, she was excited in the possibility of beginning a relationship to enhance the literacy curriculum of the schools EEO works to support with Balanced Literacy components such as Writing Workshop, Reading Workshop, Shared Reading and Read Aloud with Accountable Talk. After almost half an hour of educational conversation ranging from working with struggling readers and writers to appropriate and engaging texts to use with them, the parallels Crystal and I share in our work became clear and we exchanged email addresses.
More than twenty teachers from a variety of schools gathered at a picturesque Ministry building 200 yards from the calm waters of the Caribbean in Savannah Sound. As our time together progressed, teachers were jotting notes and asking questions that would help them to implement strategies when they returned to their schools. It was thrilling as a presenter to see heads nodding and eyes sparkling as we looked at student work samples and laid out writing strategies that the teachers could identify with and use in their classrooms. We addressed ways to make writing accessible to all learners and how to support with visuals and language while individualizing qualities such as mechanics and grammar based on appropriate expectations. After the workshop, several teachers remained around the large wooden tables talking about what they could return to their buildings and use. We looked through some of my favorite professional books and children’s literature that I had brought along to be continued supports. The excitement of the teachers was powerful. They were thoughtful and curious about strategies they hoped to use to invigorate all writers in their classrooms.
As we drove back in the car, bumping over grooves in the asphalt deep as craters, headed straight into the setting sun, I thought about the energized teachers I had just left, looking forward to emails and correspondence as they venture into workshop teaching. I feel as though I was able to deepen my knowledge and respect of the true Harbour Island and look forward to many more visits, personally and professionally.
TWO SUCCESS STORIES
By Joann Cambridge, our EEO teacher that works between JC Primary and Governors Primary Schools.
Little Tekka is an excited second grader with a sparkle in her eyes. Her struggles and her particularly small size are not a match for her big personality. She was far behind her peers in reading to the point where she had to repeat first grade.
was great but I took it on with much encouragement drawing from this child's
Willingness to learn. She couldn't write, but she kept trying. She couldn't identify her letters, but she was determined to understand their code.
The first assessment was discouraging and seemingly hopeless. After working
with Tekka for one school year, she is now identifying her letters and sounds, she can sound out and spells words, writes sentences and reads. Tekka is still in Special Education classes and her progress is outstanding. She is a lesson to the teachers and Principle of her school that all children have potential if given the chance.
Glenroy came to the Special Education classes reading way below his grade
level. He was frustrated and stopped trying in his classes. He started coming to EEO groups twice a week and we worked on his challenging areas of reading using other learning styles. I got his motivation up by incorporating music, and games. His self-esteem increased as he began to experience success and small progress. By the end of the first term he was enthusiastic about reading and was making his way through our reading books set. Glenroy has now been mainstreamed and is maintaining a GPA of 3 and above. He was on the honor roll for the Christmas Term Exams.
EEO BELIEVES THAT EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO A HEALTHY FURTURE COMMUNITY
“As an EEO Board member and a parent of a child who is coping with learning challenges, I understand the importance of giving children different pathways for learning. When children become frustrated with academics, they often accept failure and seek new ways to gain attention. Developing behavior problems and increased aggression at a young age can sometimes be detrimental to society later on. By addressing disabilities at the earliest detection stage we can truly build self confidence and determination in students so they can make a productive contribution to society"
Bernadette Christie, First Lady of the Bahamas
REACHING EVERYONE IN THE CLASSROOM
Article by Seminar Speaker, Marion Crayton
On Saturday November 21, 2006, I had the fantastic opportunity to present to teachers in Eleuthera on the topic of “The Education of Students with Varying Learning Styles: How to Reach and Teach Each Student.” Mrs. Lang extended to me the offer to speak with teachers who work with the Exceptional Education Outreach (EEO) program, which provides appropriate education to students with varying learning styles or exceptionalities. Many other teachers from the public schools showed up also and the attendance was surprising for a Saturday.
It was clearly evident that Lang had recruited excellent teachers for the EEO program. She also has established an ongoing program of professional development for the EEO teachers so that they stay current on the newest methods of instruction. They were familiar with terms such as “differentiated instruction” that are the on the forefront of education today. The teachers were enthusiastically applying newly introduced concepts.
EEO’s model of educating students in public education environments rather than in separate schools away from typically developing peers spoke to an awareness of what is best for both populations of youngsters. Students with different learning styles benefit from the inadvertent modeling provided to them by their typically developing peers. Typically developing peers learn how to interact with and appreciate students with atypical styles of learning.
Placing the EEO programs in the public educational settings also establishes the clear understanding that all children are valued and should receive an education in order to become responsible citizens. Lang and her teachers are to be commended for their excellent work on behalf of all students.
Dr. Marion M. Crayton
Department of Special Education
Office of Compliance
Prince George’s County Public Schools
"I see a change not only in my daughter’s grades but in her overall attitude towards going to school and trying to read"
- A parent of a 3rd grade EEO students in Eleuthera
EEO Star Tip
Learning statistics show that the majority of students learn best through visual and tactile/kinesthetic input. Only 15 % of students tend to be stronger auditory learners so a traditional lecture will not reach most children.
Kinesthetic / Tactile Strategies:
• Write spelling words in the air while sounding them out
• Sprinkle sand or salt in a tray and write words with the finger while spelling out loud
• Write words in glue on a piece of cardboard. Then sprinkle sand on the glue to create a textured word for finger tracing.
• Pair a movement with spelling a word out loud.
EEO QUICK FACTS
• EEO now operates 9 resource rooms Between Harbour Island and Eleuthera
• Over 140 children participate in EEO’s classes
• Three new centers were opened this year in Rock Sound, Deep Creek and Green Castle
• EEO has five full time teachers
• EEO underwrites medical and therapist visits for kids with more profound needs
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