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Community Last Updated: Aug 23, 2018 - 3:52:05 PM

Lyford Cay Foundations programme completes its 8th Summer
By Yolanda Darville
Aug 23, 2018 - 2:55:22 PM

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L-R) Wellington Armbrister, Guest, Kerminique Mackey, Terlyah Dorsett

Summer Learning with a FOCUS on Building A Better Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas – Completing its eighth Summer SLAM, FOCUS – a programme of the Lyford Cay Foundations – engaged 169 students this summer in Grades 5-9 in creating solutions aimed at building a better Bahamas.  Summer SLAM took place from June 22nd – August 3rd on the campus of University of The Bahamas.

College readiness and access are at the core of this tuition-free programme that selects 36 students in Grade Four each year for a rigorous and exciting eight-year journey to prepare them for college. FOCUS students commit to pursuing their education dreams by attending FOCUS on 15 Saturdays every school year and for a full 30 days of Summer SLAM.

The intense summer programming proved to be a time of growth and learning for both students and their dedicated teaching interns, who consist mainly of Education majors from University of The Bahamas.

Kendreia Johnson

While the arts, sports, field trips and other holistic learning activities are incorporated into Summer SLAM, summer learning truly comes alive for FOCUS students through project-based learning hinged on driving questions. This summer’s exploration spotlighted the theme “Building A Better Bahamas” and included:

  •     Grades 5 and 6 – “How can we support early learning through play?”
  •     Grades 7 and 8 – “How can we improve transportation in New Providence and between the main islands?”
  •     Grade 9 -- “Can we design cost-effective communities that support cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability?”
(L-R)Gabriella Allen, Dominic Lotmore, Kelton Hanna, Ataria Bethel

Programme Coordinator, Grades 5-9, Tiffany A. Bain-Saunders believes that project-based learning is what sets FOCUS apart from other experiences.

 “In Summer SLAM, students have the opportunity to take the lead and actively participate in their own learning process while solving real-world problems,” she shared. “The projects are not just student-centred but student-driven.”

Cherise Walker, mother of FOCUS Class of 2023 student Cherish Walker, a rising 8th grader at S. C. McPherson Junior High, credits FOCUS with helping her daughter to dream.

Ms. Walker noted, “Every year since Cherish was in Grade 4, she’s been excited about FOCUS and always wondering what there is to learn next.  Whether it’s learning about global warming and the environment or learning about transportation like she is now, she just gets excited.”

(L-R) Nathaniel Rahming, Kaiden Lewis, Javan Sweeting, Michael Roberts

“I find that FOCUS keeps her motivated in school. She dreams of dancing and because of FOCUS she talks about attending Julliard for college.”

In addition to students in grades 5 -9, 84 additional students in Grades 10-12 also continued with “On Course to College”, fondly known to the students as OCTC, the second phase of FOCUS which transitions from project based learning to more individualised summer learning experiences such as volunteer leadership and work experiences. OCTC students also participated in FOCUS Summer Seminar which underscored success in high school and preparation for college.

About The Lyford Cay Foundations

Lyford Cay Foundation, Inc. and The Canadian Lyford Cay Foundation are private philanthropic organisations established in 1969 and 1977, respectively.  The Foundations’ mission is to invest in learning opportunities for children, young adults, families and communities, all made possible by the generosity of donors.  Through a variety of programmes, the Foundations’ assist children in school as they prepare for college, students leaving school with scholarships to attend college in The Bahamas and abroad, and non-profits providing learning opportunities. To date nearly $50 million has been invested in the lives of Bahamians.

(L-R) G’Shanna Marshall, Sumiayah Sherman


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