Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What are we?

Las Terrenas International School is a bilingual and English language immersion school that offers preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade education taught by skilled professional teachers whose native language is English.  The school’s philosophy is to provide an education that values creativity and problem solving while building skills in all areas, including math, literacy, science, social, art, music and creative processes. It is a goal of the school to provide the children with educational and open ended materials in an environment where students are empowered to learn, explore, problem solve and create.
We are located in Biblioteca Anacaona in Las Terrenas, Samana in the Dominican Republic. The school and library projects coexist in the library, professionals from both collaborating and working together towards a common goal of educating the community and providing a safe space where education, tolerance and respect are valued. I am planning on a future post with more information about the foundation, but for now if you would like to know more please visit http://fundacionmahatmagandhi.com/about.html . 

The years represented in Las Terrenas International School are at a critical stage in development. Studies show that children in high quality and creative early childhood education programs flourish later in life and are more likely to be successful, employed and out of prison, regardless of later education deficits. This is because of the social skills, critical thinking and foundation for learning that is laid in a program that respects children, their interests and what is developmentally appropriate. If children can learn to love learning and exploring to answer questions on their own, they will surely be successful at whatever they choose to do in the future.
Our goal for the school is twofold, one part being to provide this quality education and enrich the lives of our students and their families and the second part being to improve the community from the inside. We wish to create a critical mass in the community, a large group of people who are part of the community with skill sets and ethics to think for themselves with a wish to help others. Our graduates will have the skills to be economically self reliant and to help to make change in the community based on what the community wants and needs, not what outsiders deem to be necessary.

This is the second Year that Las Terrenas International School has been in existence, and the first year for kindergarten, first and second grade. We are all working tirelessly to lay the foundation for future years. It is a work in progress and we are so proud of all that we have done. From the beginning we have figuratively and literally built the school, from the furniture for our classrooms, to creating curriculum and assessment systems that are beneficial, organic and developmentally appropriate as well as defining parameters of bilingual (in preschool) and English immersion (in the older grades) all while creating strong, respectful and lasting relationships with students parents and our community. 

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