Our Special Needs Classroom
With the blessing of a very successful Australian fundraiser in March, we were able to turn one of our first floor classrooms into a disabled accessible room with an attached bathroom! The new classroom is equipped with fans, wired speakers for music and special windows to cut down on the noise for these precious students. Our first 11 students are thrilled to have the opportunity to attend school. According to Madame Ylde, Head Special Needs Teacher, “After three months of work our new students have completely changed. I’m so happy to see the children starting to repeat words and phrases, others are beginning to express their needs and feelings. Our staff is committed to the success of this program and the community is already looking for an expansion of the program to include more students who have never had a chance of an education!”
Every Child Deserves an Education
The importance of an education cannot be understated, and being able to read and write are life altering skills which many in Haiti are without. Every child deserves to go to school and have an opportunity to learn at their own level of competency. For You Haiti provides education scholarships to the most disadvantaged students in the community.
Education for the disabled
This year, we have become an inclusion school with the addition of a special needs classroom. Children with disabilities are among the most marginalized and vulnerable in Haiti. The majority of special education students do not have the opportunity to go to school. The Haitian constitution supports the idea that individuals with disabilities have the right to an education, however there are no policies or resources in place to support this ideal. Studies show that an inclusive educational environment helps promote a stronger, safer and more prosperous society by developing typical students that will be more comfortable and tolerant of differences.
Unique learning environment
We have created a unique learning environment that supports the various special needs of this student population. FYH has a doctor and nurse on the school premise who are always available for our special needs students should they require medical care. The parents can relax knowing their child is learning in a safe and loving environment. Our initial 11 students have a variety of disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to autism. FYH has hired a team of dedicated special needs teachers led by Madam Ylde. In this classroom they are accepted for who they are and activities are tailored to their unique capabilities and goals are set to help them grow.
The special needs classroom is part of the general school with some accommodations to create a safe and peaceful environment. The room has wheelchairs with attachable desk trays that remain in the classroom for the students who need them, so that parents do not have to transport wheelchairs to school. The FYH team and the parents are thrilled to see these special students dressed in their clean, colorful school uniforms just as the same as all of the students on La Gonâve.
The students have settled into their new routine in the classroom and have begun to flourish. The students start their day with a morning meeting, introducing themselves, greeting each other and discussing the weather, months, and days of the week. Much of the curriculum consists of music, art and games to stimulate their minds and keep them interested in learning.