Aylmer school looks to ‘open doors’ for children who have learning disabilities through Arrowsmith Program | Edvance Christian Schools Association
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Aylmer school looks to ‘open doors’ for children who have learning disabilities through Arrowsmith Program

Written on February 11th, 2009

‘It’s exciting to see the schools that are coming on board,’ says principal

Immanuel Christian School in Aylmer plans to offer the Arrowsmith Program this fall, joining a growing list of Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) members who are taking interest in the unique program that helps children work through learning disabilties.

OACS members Georgetown District Christian School and Silvercrest Christian School in Wasaga Beach offer the program, and Guelph Community Christian School recently opened enrolment.

Immanuel board chair Jane Weverink says what she is most excited about the Arrowsmith Program is the changes in the students.

“If you have struggling child in your home, this can do wonders for that child, it can change their life,” she says.

“I have a vested interest because we have a child in our home who lives with us who can vastly benefit from this program,” she says. “That really gets my heart going, what it can do for these children … the permanent changes in their life, not just academically but for their whole life.”

The program is founded on neuroscientific research that students can strengthen weak cognitive capacities through specific exercises. The research points to the principle of neuroplasticity — that the brain can change and develop new functions and roles. After three or four years in the program students return to a full academic program at their grade level.

Barbara Arrowsmith Young established the Toronto Arrowsmith School in 1980, and the program is available to other public and independent schools in Canada and the U.S.

Principal Nancy Robinson says she is excited for the opportunity to open doors for kids, so “that they have a chance to step above some of the learning problems they have.”

Weverink says she also looks forward to the changes it could bring to the school, adding that already they are seeing more publicity and it may help increase enrolment.

The school plans to open the program provided there is a minimum of eight students enrolled. From the interest shown so far, Weverink says the question may be whether the school opens two classrooms for up to 20 students.

“To us here in Alymer so many things have fallen into place that it just re-affirms to me that this is God’s will for our school,” says Weverink.

Robinson says Georgetown District Christian School has been very helpful, answering questions and opening their doors for Immanuel staff to see their Arrowsmith Program in action.

“It’s exciting to see the schools that are coming on board,” says Robinson.

“Once people see or connect and find out what results are happening I’m hoping this will spread and go elsewhere (too).”

Immanuel Christian School opened registration and is hosting an Arrowsmith Program information evening Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. To learn more call the school at 519-773-8476. To learn more about the Arrowsmith Program, visit www.arrowsmithschool.org.

- Related Stories:
Family grateful OACS school offers Arrowsmith Program
Guelph Community Christian School opens Arrowsmith Program enrolment
Georgetown District Christian School’s new Arrowsmith Program showing signs of success
School offers unique program for students with learning disabilities