September 27th, 2014 saw the Pinelands Creative Workshop and the Parkinson Memorial School come together to establish an outreach partnership to assist members of the community. The goal was to provide free Common Entrance lessons to students from schools the immediate community. The teaching was delivered by Mr. Jeff Broomes -Principal of the Parkinson School along with a volunteers – Ms Ceri Sue and John Gittens.
It was recognized that there was the need for a structured program that would provide the much needed safe and supportive environment to facilitate academic development especially among those who are vulnerable and preparing for the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Exam better known as the 11 plus examination. As a pro-youth and pro-active approach to improving performance by both males and females, a commitment was made by the Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW) and a number of caring and committed professionals to offer a one (1) year program (2014-2105 term) focusing on strengthening the competencies of approximately fifty (50) children to afford better individual outcomes.
Despite the focus on the schools from the immediate community, participants from the across the island were involved. Attending the program were students from: Grantley Prescod Memorial Primary School, Luther Thorne Primary School, Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School, Gordon Walters Primary School, St Paul’s Primary School, Hill Top Primary School, Cuthbert Moore Primary School and Bay Primary School.
Through the support of the Aries Technologies, Paloma Charitable Trust and the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, PCW was able to deliver an extended program titled “Beyond Expectations Accelerator Program (BEAP)” presenting a series of intensives focusing specifically on reinforcing Mathematics and English concepts; online testing; small group support for those under-performing; expose participants to pre-exam anxiety reduction techniques; mock exams to test the impact of the pre-exam anxiety reduction techniques as well as build familiarity with the examination process and to train participants to work under examination conditions; and provide a Transition Workshop focusing on providing an understanding and tools to better handle the transition from primary to secondary school.
Here are eight children, all members of the Pinelands Creative Workshop, who participated in the program. Congrats to them and the other forty-four (44) children who also participated.