GAIN AN EDGE: Triplets’ journey takes a LEAP

Triplets Sammia, Serrenda and Brenden, fifth graders who attend Uriah McPhee Primary School.

Triplets Sammia, Serrenda and Brenden, fifth graders who attend Uriah McPhee Primary School.

Today we welcome back the Gain An Edge column, a series of articles spotlighting education, the young people taking part in it and more. The column will run bi-weekly on Mondays.

Triplets Sammia, Serrenda and Brenden are bubbly fifth graders who love attending Uriah McPhee Primary School. They are naturally curious. Two years ago, their curiosity changed their educational journey.

They remember the day they heard a presentation at school about LEAP (Learning Environment to Accelerate Progress), an educational pilot programme developed by Lyford Cay Foundations to address the learning loss created by the pandemic. The tuition-free programme, for selected students in Grades 1 through 4, offers support in critical areas including numeracy, literacy and social emotional skills.

“LEAP sounded like fun. I didn’t really know what it was, but I wanted to learn more,” said Serrenda. With the help of their family, they applied and were accepted into the first cohort of 41 students. That’s when their learning adventure began.

For ten Saturdays, they woke up early, packed LEAP backpacks, dressed in uniforms provided by LEAP, boarded a bus and rode to Lyford Cay International School (LCIS).

Their half-days at LCIS included interactive lessons to boost skills in reading, comprehension, written language and problem solving in math and numeracy. A hearty breakfast, healthy hot lunch, time on learning tablets and playtime on the LCIS playground were fun parts of the day! Their instructors were teachers from both LCIS and Uriah McPhee Primary, creating a unique public-private school partnership.

“I was excited to be a part of a programme that would help close the learning gap,” shared Ms Tamea Johnson-King, a LEAP teacher from Uriah McPhee Primary. “The collaboration with other teachers gave us an opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and students learned in an environment with minimal distractions.”

Mr O’Niel Bain, LCIS’s marketing, advancement and communications director noted: “An important strategic goal for LCIS is to develop partnerships that enrich the broader Bahamian community. We are delighted to share our facilities and expertise with LEAP.”

The triplets believe that LEAP helped them academically. Serrenda noted: “LEAP helped me stay focused and one step ahead.” Sammia shared, “Because of LEAP, I read more books!”

Lyford Cay Foundations is now expanding LEAP with a new partnership between EP Roberts Primary School and St Andrew's International School which will allow 40 additional students to participate. Brenden thinks this is a good thing.

“LEAP would be great for all students,” he said. “But you can’t force them. Doing better is something you have to want to do.”

• Gain An Edge is a collaboration of Lyford Cay Foundations, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and the University of The Bahamas aimed at promoting a national dialogue on issues surrounding education. To share your thoughts, email gainanedge@tribunemedia.net.


birdiestrachan 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Beautiful and handsome may it reflect your inmost being


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