This month, teachers in Jamaica were introduced to Lindamood-Bell’s™ Visualizing and Verbalizing (V/V) and Seeing Stars programs. This professional development opportunity was facilitated by the Sandals Foundation (‘the Sandals Foundation’) and funded by the CHASE (Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education) Fund in an effort to increase literacy and math competency for Jamaican students with special learning needs.
The focus of the Sandals Foundation is ensuring that as many children, youth, and adults as possible have the educational opportunities they need to reach their full potential. Programs include community scholarships, supported schools, book drives, and literacy programs, as well as support of new libraries and computer facilities. Each year, the Sandals Foundation supports thousands of students in educational facilities throughout the Caribbean community.
The introduction of the V/V and Seeing Stars programs was the brainchild of Mandy Melville, the parent of a child with dyslexia. “I used to have to take him away during the holidays to do this type of lesson at (Lindamood-Bell) Centers in Miami, so every year we’d go away. One of the things that hit me was when he said to me, ‘Mummy, why am I the only child that has to go away for extra lessons?'” At that point, Melville was determined to bring the programs to Jamaica where more children could benefit.
Through the Jamaican Ministry of Education, 50 teachers were selected out of hundreds of applicants to attend the four-day workshop. Educator Shakera Roberts, one of the workshop participants, commented that “being trained in (these programs) will greatly assist me and my fellow Jamaican teachers to be more equipped with effective methodologies to facilitate students with special needs to learn to their full potential.”
Read More about this exciting project.