Boost for learning difficulties group
A group aiming to help children with learning difficulties hopes to expand after receiving charitable status.
Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning Foundation was set up to provide financial aid for families of children diagnosed with language-based learning differences.
BCCL has 22 students enrolled but, with its recognition as a charitable foundation, hopes to expand and capture more of the 400 to 800 Bermudian children who, as of the 2010 census, were diagnosed with learning differences.
Terence Smart, BCLF board chairman, said: “We knew the school should be available to any student with a diagnosed language-based learning difference who needed a warm and supportive environment.
“We didn’t want to limit the students who could attend, so we needed to create a charity to support those children.
“It’s quite a milestone for our organisation to receive charitable status as we understand that it has become more selective and more difficult to receive.
“Having status allows us now to solicit funds publicly, which is a huge boost for the families in Bermuda.”
Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning Foundation was created by Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning, which provides specialised support for students beginning at age 7, diagnosed with learning differences.
It aims to create an environment to help students with special needs, while ensuring they are challenged and reach their academic goals.
Mr Smart said: “We have learnt that it is vital to a child’s education to match our teaching styles to their way of learning.
“Our small 5-to-1 ratio, caring environment and flexible approach reduced the children’s overall stress levels, thereby allowing them to focus on learning. Happier, more content children learn much better. We also allow therapists and tutors to hold the children’s sessions at school, which in turn reduces the parent’s stress levels.”
While the fundraising is only in the beginning stages, BCCL hopes to raise money by building awareness about the school and what can be achieved when learning takes places in a specialised setting.
Mr Smart said: “Additional funds will allow us to reach more of those children whose families could not necessarily afford our school.
“The cost of tuition reflects our small student-to-teacher ratio and the specialised support we give our students.”
Along with corporate and government grants and donations from patrons, BCCL will also organise private and public events throughout the year to raise funds.
“The school is growing and looking forward to welcoming even more students with the help of the foundation,” Mr Smart said.
BCCL is hosting a series of open houses on November 18, February 3 and April 28, from 11am to 1pm.
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