Programmes and Persons that are critical components in our education system
By Marlene Warren
Academically, children do not develop at the same rate. Some have natural talents and abilities which enable them to excel in most subjects. Some have learning disabilities which present challenges early and hamper their progress. No one knows this better than parents and teachers.
“Learning disabilities or learning disorders are umbrella terms for a wide variety of learning problems.
“A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation and kids with learning disabilities aren’t lazy or dumb… Their brains are simply wired differently—and this difference affects how they receive and process information…
“This can lead to trouble with learning new information and skills and putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.”
- What do parents do when they see their child struggling in school? Of course, their first inclination is to help him/her personally, as much as possible. If you’re a parent who has been in this situation, you will know that evenings in your home often become battlegrounds and your child retires to bed in tears. It requires much patience, perseverance, and a certain degree of “know-how” to help a child who can’t read or do math problems.
Don’t despair! Several organizations and individuals in our community are willing and able to make a difference in the life of your child. Here are a few options below:
THE READING CLINIC
Most people will know that the Reading Clinic exists to service children who have challenges learning to read. What most people don’t know is that the Reading Clinic also provides tutoring in mathematics.
Founded originally to provide tutors for children with dyslexia, the Reading Clinic has trained numerous individuals in the Orton-Gillingham
Approach – a multisensory, sequential, and prescriptive method to teach children who have difficulty learning to read, spell, and write.
Mathematics tutors are trained in the ICAN Math Programme – Individualised Cognitive
Approach to Numeracy. This math programme is not only multi-sensory but promotes the development of personalized strategies that assist in retaining facts, concepts, and skills.
Students who require the Reading Clinic’s services are referred by their respective schools usually on the request of their teachers and/or parents. The Reading Clinic will then conduct initial assessments to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the student. When accepted into either the Reading or Math programme, or both, tutors are assigned who will then develop an individualized program for each student based on the assessment results.
Tutors will meet with their students at their schools either before or after school hours, or sometimes over a student’s lunch hour! Alternately, tutors are available to meet with them at the Reading Clinic at 54 Serpentine Road, Pembroke.
ENGLISH TUTORING WITH LIZ JONES
High School and College students who need extra support in any aspect of English, will be interested to know that former Bermuda College English lecturer, Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, provides one-on-one tutoring services via Zoom for ages 14 and older.
She offers tutoring in the following areas: GCSE English, IGCSE English, IB English, AP English, Business English, Essay Writing, Research, Comprehension Skills, Vocabulary, College Preparation, First and Second Year Level College English and Creative Writing.
BRAINHUB LEARNING CENTRE
The BrainHub Learning Centre was founded by Mrs. Kimberlee Tankard, a trained and experienced teacher, on the educational philosophy that all children are capable of learning and deserve a welcoming, engaging, and fun environment in which to learn.
Providing one-on-one online instruction in 12-week sessions, BrainHub caters to students who require instruction in reading, mathematics, and science at the primary level, and language, writing and mathematics at the middle and high school levels.
Located at 4 Park Rd., Hamilton and 123 Mullet Bay Rd, St. George’s, Planet Math has grown from strength to strength from its humble beginnings in 2017. For students aged 5-18 who may be struggling with mathematics, this tutoring operation is making a profound difference in the lives of young people and is supported by glowing reviews on its website.
A teacher and lover of mathematics, Sergio Pitcher, started a tutoring service in 2016 and then co-founded Planet Math with Mr. Kevin Warner in 2017. They have a complement of other tutors who not only provide tutoring services, but also holiday camps. In addition, all students are encouraged to participate in Math-a-Thons sponsored by Planet Math.
In the near future, Planet Math is hoping to gain charitable status to help sponsor needy students.
CRANLEIGH LEARNING CENTRE
Located conveniently on Washington Lane, Hamilton, the Cranleigh Learning Centre offers tutoring services throughout the school year.
Based on an assessment, a personalized learning plan is developed for each child. Subjects being offered are reading, phonics, spelling, composition, and mathematics at the primary level and pre-GED readiness skills at the high school level. Additionally, students who are struggling to learn a foreign language or sign language can find support at Cranleigh Learning Centre.
Keisha Allen-Smith, an educator with over 20 years of experience, founded Target Learning with the mission “to empower students to become independent and confident learners.”
She is supported by a team of tutors who are passionate about helping children to succeed.
Situated at 38 Mount Hill Road, Pembroke, Target Learning provides on-campus and online tutoring primarily in English and mathematics for students at all levels, aged 7-18. Initially, students will undergo diagnostic assessments to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses and then learning objectives are developed accordingly.
Assistance is also provided for homework assignments.