2 Months ago, we showed you an innovative program being launched by Restore Belize which includes using computers to teach students of all ages how to read, or how to read better. It includes the use of computers and a piece of software which is very intuitive and teaches the individual how to use it.
Restore Belize has collaborated with the international organization, Literacy Without Borders, to get the program out into the different communities. For the past three days, both of these organizations have been offering training to different outreach organizations who will do the literacy training in the communities.
7News caught up with the organizers at the end of the training today, here's what they told us about how it went:
Randy Boissonnault - Executive Director, Literacy Without Borders
"Restore Belize and Literacy Without Borders are pleased to be offering 2 and a half days of training for the Academy of Reading and the Academy of Math. It's a computer literacy assisted solution the Government of Belize as able to purchase due to a generous donation from the Government of China/Taiwan. The target groups are adults and younger learners who are struggling with either reading or math. So, those who are not at grade level, we want over time to have access to this to this program. And who we have in the room, are individuals who are either going to be offering programs at their community agency, or their location, or they are trainers who are going to be training other people. And to give you a sense of who's in the room, we have folks here Eglah's, Community Policing, Youth Hostel, Kolbe Foundation, the Ministry of Education's Literacy Unit, Education Support Services, NARCIE, and Youth Hostel. So, it's a great mix of people who are here to be able to serve people across the spectrum here in Belize to help with their literacy and math skills. The Academy of Reading, and the Academy of Math help students to automate, and be consistent in the basic codes of reading and math. You and I are talking right now, and we have consonant blends and different vowel sounds that you and I have mastered when we were younger. Some people struggle with those sounds because either they didn't have the time spent with them, or they weren't just taught how to use them. So, this program helps students to become very automatic in those basic building blocks of reading, and then the same thing is done in math. And what happens is that the students aren't able to progress in the program until they get those key foundational skills locked in. And then, once they have that, they go to higher more complex skills - on the reading side for example. Over the course of a year or 2, students could graduate 9 levels of reading, if they stayed with the program that long."
Participants in the training included organizations such as Eglah's Training Center for Women and Families, the Kolbe Foundation, UBAD Educational Foundation, Water Walkers, the YMCA, and others.