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Performing arts preschool now has 36 children enrolled

Bermuda's first and only performing arts preschool, Building Blocks Academy is growing fast, according to owner Tory Darrell.

Mr Darrell, the former coordinator for the Mirrors Programme, told the Hamilton Rotary Club yesterday that the unique school now has 36 children enrolled.

“We had a soft opening in April, and we have been growing steadily since then,” he said.

He told the club that he and his wife, McCartney Darrell, made the decision to start the preschool in part due to her own challenges learning.

“She is a very, very abstract learner,” he said. “When she was coming up the school system didn't know how to treat her. She almost got lost in that environment.

“We believe that children are like sponges and they are able to suck up this information, especially when it's delivered in a fun way.”

Along with the fundamentals of English and math, the Building Blocks Academy introduces the students, aged 18-months to five years old, to art, dance, music and drama with a high school-like schedule of half-hour classes.

“We believe in teaching the fundamentals, however we capitalise the fun,” he said.

“We want to teach them about life skills. We have children who are 18 months and 19 months that can tell you every letter of the alphabet and what sounds it makes.

“It's not about memorisation, it's more about the concepts of the letters. There are lots of kids who have memorised the alphabet song but when you break it down, they cannot tell you what the letters mean.”

He said the school also aims to give it's students an introduction to computers, saying: “It's only fitting that we start to introduce them to the technology they will continue to use as they grow.”

Mr Darrell said he expects to see the school continue to grow over the next few months, with a formal ribbon cutting being scheduled next month.

“It's an exciting approach and it's a new approach,” he said. “It's something very, very new to Bermuda and looking online, we can't find anything like it anywhere else.

Useful website: www.buildingblocks.bm.

Tory Darrell of the Building Blocks Academy spoke to the members of the Hamillton Rotary at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club Tuesday. ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

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Published September 14, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated September 14, 2011 at 9:51 am)

Performing arts preschool now has 36 children enrolled

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