February 14, 2014
SCHOOLS, individual performers and other interested persons are reminded that the closing date deadline for entrants in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture E Clement Bethel National Arts Festival is today, Friday, February 14, for all dance, music and drama entrants...
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February 13, 2014
Junior Achievement (JA) meets with Prime Minister Christie: Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry Christie (center) met with Junior Achievement delegation led by JA Chairman Raymond Winder on Monday February 10 to commence the programs' JA Month activities...
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February 12, 2014
Candis-Amber Petty, a former student of H.O. Nash Junior School who is currently a student at C.R. Walker Senior School, was recognized for her academic achievements in the 2013 Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) examinations at the 12th Northwestern District Thanksgiving Awards and Recognition Ceremony.She was graded at A grades for the eight exams she sat (and finished in a three-way tie for the best BJC results with Dana Knowles from N.G.M. High School, Long Island, and Margaret Albury Higgs from Forest Heights, an independent school out of Abaco). Candis-Amber tied with Dana for the best results by government school students. She also had the best results by a New Providence student.C.R. Walker students Oneisa Lundy achieved seven A grades and one C grade, and Lheintz Vincent achieved five A grades, two B grades and one C grade.Candis-Amber was also among a number of students honored, including the students who were recognized for having the highest grade point averages in their respective Northwestern District schools during the 2012/2013 school year: Chardonay Garrick, Albury Sayle Primary (3.70); Destiny Smith, Gambier Primary (3.44); Mandria Brown, Mable Walker Primary (3.46); Jada Culmer, Oakes Field Primary (4.00); Shavanti Farrington, Stephen Dillet Primary (3.55); Yolanda Erhabor, T.G. Glover Primary (3.64); Alda Arne, Woodcock Primary (3.50); Phlesea McPhee, H.O. Nash Junior (3.60); Shantinique Miller, T.A. Thompson Junior (3.60); Randy Roberts, C.C. Sweeting Senior (3.30); Beautisca King, C.R. Walker (3.80); Janoah Saunders, Centre for the Deaf (3.55); Tarvis Cooper, Stapledon School (3.55); Tyrone Woods, Naomi Blatch Pre-School; Korey Christie, and Thalia Cartwright from Willard Patton Pre-School.During the ceremony, Director of Education Lionel Sands told the students that no students are disposable in the pursuit of academic excellence. He said that while many students are succeeding academically, there was a minority being left behind for various reasons.Sands told the students that he was inspired by the successful students being recognized at the ceremony held at Living Waters Kingdom Ministries and that he believed that every child should be given the opportunity to fulfill their purpose.
The education director also addressed school administrators and told them that the practice of indefinite suspensions would be eradicated from public schools, as officials at the Ministry of Education were discovering that too many students were being suspended for frivolous infractions, something he said was unacceptable.C.C. Sweeting Senior School was highlighted for a second place outstanding performance by government schools in career and technical education and having the most improved grade point average in government schools in the BJC exams.In the innovation in schools category, all 14 schools in the district were recognized for introducing a new program which enhanced their teaching and learning programs -- The Centre for the Deaf for mainstreaming two students at H.O. Nash Junior School who are preparing to sit the BJC examination in June 2014; Naomi Blatch Pre-School for its thematic approach to learning; Stapledon School for its agriculture and beauty programs and Albury Sayle for its focus on literacy.The two most coveted prizes for overall performances in the district, The Harriet Pratt Quality Award and the Valderine Rumer Award for Academic Excellence went to Oakes Field Primary School. The school has won both awards for five consecutive years.Director of Youth in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Darren Turnquest, who also spoke at the ceremony, told students that they were all accountable for their actions and that they have to realize that bad decisions have consequences. He advised them to have a positive attitude, brand themselves as priceless and remember that popularity does not matter.Turnquest told the teachers that their job is to motivate students even though they have the hardest job that anyone can do in The Bahamas. He also told parents that their job is to participate in their children's education. During the ceremony, Shirley Barr, the former principal of Naomi Blatch Primary School was honored for 51 years of service in education. Deborah Coleby, a former vice principal at Woodcock Primary School and Wilfred Butler, former senior master at C.C. Sweeting Senior School were recognized for their service to the district. Pastor Sharon Nairn who counseled students, organized a breakfast program, and supported students in the shacks during their Junior Junkanoo preparations was recognized for her philanthropy in the district schools. Students receiving awards in the extracurricular activities category included Travis Robinson, C.R. Walker Senior School (Junior. Minister of Tourism); Aradhana Gilbert, C.R. Walker Senior School (Laws of Life Essay); Laquann Nairn, C. R. Walker Senior School (Carifta Games gold and silver medalist);Brackiel Henry, T. A. Thompson Junior School (District Spelling Bee champion); Sydney Clarke, H.O. Nash Junior School (Jr. tennis champion);Trovonya Thompson, H.O. Nash Junior School (Arts and Drama, National Arts Festival); and Saquan Miller (bronze medalist, water polo, CARIFTA).
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February 12, 2014
On a day when most youngsters would be glued to televisions watching cartoons, Kingsway Academy's fifth grade student Sierra Blair was hard at work participating in a coastal clean-up initiative spearheaded by Etienne Dupuch Jr. Publications Ltd.
"At the end I was tired, but I had a lot of fun doing it," said the 10-year-old. "We got rid of a lot of garbage. You could see the difference."For two hours on Saturday, February 8, Sierra and four employees of Dupuch Publications collected more than 20 bags of trash from along the shores of Delaporte Beach. The most commonly found trash items were food wrappers, bottles, cans and plastic -- which, if washed into the ocean could endanger the marine life. "It's never too early to teach our children the importance of keeping our surroundings clean," said Sierra's mom, Dupuch Publications writer and clean-up volunteer Tosheena Robinson-Blair. "We tend to keep that lesson of cleanliness confined to our home and school, but it's equally important that children learn we have a collective responsibility to keep The Bahamas clean."Sierra does just as well inside the classroom as she does outside. She's a Principal Honor Roll student who snagged top honors in fourth grade when she tied with a classmate for most outstanding female student. Subsequently, she was chosen to be a prefect. Her current grade point average is 3.813.A well-rounded student, Sierra participates in Kingsway's Bahamian Culture Club. She is also a member of the Kingsway Academy Elementary student choir, Heavenly Voices. More recently, she began modeling at Yodephy.An inquisitive child, Sierra's interest in the environment was sparked after her summer 2013 participation in the Ardastra Gardens and Zoo camp, a program funded by the Bahamas Reef and Environmental Education Foundation (BREEF). It was there Sierra learned more about marine life and ways to preserve the ocean. As a part of the fun and informative week-long camp Sierra got to snorkel and even observed sharks in their natural habitat during a swim at Stuart's Cove."As a parent I try to not only support Sierra's interest but also to broaden her horizons, so she has taken up various unrelated activities," said Robinson-Blair. Thus far Sierra has dabbled in horseback riding, cooking, photography and playing the guitar. "Hopefully, she will continue to be environmentally aware and be able to pass that awareness on to her peers," said her mother.Coordinating the initiative was Etienne Dupuch III, the company's vice president. He also participated in the clean-up."This initiative shows a few people can make a difference in keeping the beaches and coastal system clean and free of garbage for Bahamians and visitors alike. People noticed the difference immediately," he said.The Ministry of Tourism designated February as "Sustainable Tourism Month," and emphasized the importance of local beaches to tourism and the Bahamian economy.
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February 12, 2014
The recognition of 17 members of staff, who have worked at Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) for more than 10 years, was the highlight of the school's recent annual Founder's Day Service.As it celebrated the past, school Principal Stacey Bobo told the students that they have much to look forward to in the future, including the expansion of the secondary school, the implementation of the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program, a new website and learning management system, and in May, the graduation of their ninth senior class."Perhaps more importantly, we look forward to watching you, the students of LCIS continue to grow along with our school," said Bobo.She told the students that their teachers are responsible for educating, supporting, guiding and nurturing them, and that they in turn will become leaders of the next generation.Bobo thanked the LCIS staff for their hand in shaping the students. She told them that they met challenges with grace, embodied a positive spirit, helped the school achieve its goal and maintain its status as a premier educational institution.The staff honored included Dala Smith, who served as an instructional aide and library aide. Smith, the longest-serving employee of the school joined the school in 1989.Colleen Kemp was the only other 20-plus year recipient. She worked there for 24 years.Other honorees included Sharon Capron and Carole John (19 years), Monalisa Stuart (18 years), Wendy Pugh, Isadora Blyden, Tracey Farquharson, Stephanie Rolle and Craig Massey (17 years), Rose Taylor (15 years), Kym Scavella, Denize Markham, Kenya Colebrook, Lynden Taylor and Bathsheba Fernander (13 years) and Markso Almerus (11 years)."If Mr. [Edward Plunket] Taylor were here today, I think he would be extremely proud of how far our school has come and be delighted that our traditions have been firmly established in the hearts and minds of us all," said Bobo.LCIS was founded by Taylor in 1962 for children of employees and nearby residents in his property venture on the western side of New Providence. The initial enrollment was just nine students and two teachers. By 1981, the number of teachers matched the initial number of students, nine, and by then there were 147 students enrolled. The school undertook one of its biggest developments in 1993-1994 when it opened up the Early Learning Center, followed by an expansion to the elementary school. Between the years 1994-1997, the school increased its student body from 100 to over 200; the grade levels went from nursery to grade nine, and the staff number expanded from 16 to 30.Today LCIS's staff complement is 44 full-time teachers, 34 support staff and 345 students enrolled from Early Learning Center to twelfth grade. It received International School accreditation in 1998 and work was completed on the new secondary school building in 2003."Within our multi-cultural and multi-national environment, we endeavor to create an atmosphere in which curiosity and openness are the norm. Our commitment to excellence, projected through E.P. Taylor's vision, continues to evolve, ensuring that our students are provided the opportunities and resources to become life-long learners and internationally minded citizens," said Bobo.
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February 12, 2014
Four students are the latest to benefit from the Tara Xavier Hepburn Foundation, taking the total number of scholarships awarded by the Foundation to 21, at the cost of just over $100,000Demonica Brown, a graduate of L.W. Young Junior School, joined Jefferson Stubbs, who currently attends St. Anne's School, at St. Anne's School; while Eleanore Simmons, a graduate of H.O. Nash Junior High School, and Moriece Forbes of St. John's College will study at St. John's. The scholarships are for three years (2013-2016), for tenth through twelfth grades at the cost of approximately $5,000 per year per student.Since its inception in 2007, the Tara Xavier Hepburn Foundation has carried out its mission to provide educational opportunities to deserving young Bahamians through its scholarship program. The Tara Xavier Hepburn Foundation was launched on December 29, 2006 to celebrate the life of Hepburn, an exceptional young Bahamian who died at the age of 30 while studying law, after having completed a psychology degree."She [Tara] seemed to be at the height of everything," said her mother Claire Hepburn."She had finished her LLB, graduated that March... on April 14, 2006 she was dead. She had been accepted at College of Law to do her professional examination. Everything was just sailing for her. She was healthy, she exercised regularly and she just fell down. We were just devastated by her death."Out of pain and grief and trying to cope with the loss, Hepburn said they decided to keep Tara's memory alive through scholarship for students in high school. They also run the Tara Project on Saturdays for young people between the age of nine and 18 to give them exposure to activities they would not normally be exposed to. Through the project, Hepburn said they try to get the young people to understand that what they can conceive in their minds, that they can achieve, but that it takes commitment and focus. The Tara Project is run out of St. Gregory's Anglican Church on Carmichael Road. It's a space Hepburn said the young people can come to and feel free and not be worried about the circumstances in which they live. The program is not an Anglican one and as such it's open to everyone and not just Anglicans. Hepburn said they are able to use the church's space through the grace of the church's priest, Fr. Canon Sebastian Campbell and its members who are gung-ho on youth programs."The foundation is dedicated to the holistic development of young people by empowering them to achieve a positive sense of self and to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and contributing citizens. A key goal of the foundation is to encourage young Bahamians to take maximum responsibility for improving themselves," said Hepburn.The Tara Xavier Hepburn Scholarship is open to graduates of government junior schools and students of St. John's College and St. Anne's School who have successfully completed grade nine. The scholarship is tenable at St. John's College and St. Anne's School.
In order to be considered for a scholarship, applicants must be nominated by their school, attain at least a 3.00 grade point average, have demonstrated leadership ability and/or community involvement, be of good moral character and successfully pass a minimum of five BJC subjects, which must include English and mathematics with grade of C or better. Applicants also may be required to attend an interview. The Tara Xavier Hepburn Scholarship covers full tuition and the cost of books.Hepburn said the Tara Xavier Hepburn Foundation Scholarship is made possible by the generosity of many donors including Lyndhurst Limited, Richard Campbell Limited, Dr. Livingston Marshall, Godfrey K. Kelly CMG and the Anglican Central Education Authority.
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February 12, 2014
Lyford Cay Foundation, Inc. and The Canadian Lyford Cay Foundation are now accepting online applications for academic and technical training and vocational scholarships for study at approved institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Caribbean.All applications must be made through the foundations' website, http://www.lyfordcayfoundation.org.Applicants must be Bahamian citizens and pledge to return to The Bahamas upon completion of their studies.General academic scholarships are available at undergraduate and graduate levels for study in areas considered to be valuable to the economic needs of The Bahamas. Areas of study include agriculture and horticulture sciences and management, the arts (undergraduate level), economics, education (specialised fields, secondary and STEM subjects), engineering (specialised fields), financial services, foreign languages, hospitality and tourism management, information technology, marine and environmental sciences, mathematics, and sciences (biology, chemistry and physics).Additional eligible fields of study at the graduate level include educational leadership and school administration; international business, library and information sciences; nursing (specialized fields), physical, occupational, speech and language therapy; public health and hospital management; school and college admission counseling, and school psychology.Technical training and vocational scholarships are designed for individuals who wish to earn an associate's degree, certification, specialization or diploma in areas where there is a shortage of well-qualified Bahamians in the work force. The minimum course of study is six months. Generally, the maximum length of an eligible course is three years, but consideration will also be given to applicants pursing specific career and occupational programs that may extend beyond that period.The approved fields of study for technical scholarships have also been refined, and now include agriculture, horticulture and fisheries technology; air conditioning and refrigeration; allied health care and technology; automotive, marine and aviation mechanics and technology; computer service technology; construction and related trades (including electrical, carpentry, plumbing, painting and masonry); the culinary arts; engineering technology; heavy equipment operations; hospitality and tourism studies; machine shop and welding, and quantity surveying technology.Specialized scholarships also offer opportunities to study agriculture; architecture; the fine, visual and performing arts; arts education; business and economics; general education; engineering; jurisprudence (graduate); marine and environmental biology; marine construction, marine design, marine manufacturing systems and marine mechanics, and theology.Most foundation awards are valued at $7,500 to $12,500 per year.Scholarships are renewable annually, provided that a certain level of performance is maintained. As part of the renewal process, successful applicants are required to show proof of having contributed a minimum of 20 hours each year to volunteer projects and/or service organizations.The deadline for all scholarship applications is March 31, 2014. Independent, non-partisan screening committees comprised of prominent citizens and Lyford Cay alumni in the fields of education, government and the private sector are responsible for making the final recommendations. In addition to academic performance, the committee considers an applicant's financial need, personal qualities -- including his or her leadership skills and contribution to the community -- as well as the caliber and cost of the institution he or she wishes to attend.The foundations also offer scholarships for study at The College of The Bahamas. These are primarily need-based, and all applications and screening take place through the college. For more information please contact the COB Financial Aid Office or visit http://www.cob.edu.bs/.Lyford Cay Foundation, Inc. and The Canadian Lyford Cay Foundation were established by members of the Lyford Cay Club in 1969 and 1977 respectively. Their mission is to increase the availability of educational opportunities for Bahamians, and to support local non-profit groups through financial contributions and volunteer initiatives. To date, 1,400 Bahamians have received $19.5 million in undergraduate, graduate and technical training scholarships to study overseas; 1,200 Bahamians have benefitted from $4.2 million in scholarships to attend The College of The Bahamas, and over 200 local charities and civic organizations have received $18.4 million in financial assistance.
oFor additional information about the foundations' educational awards, and to apply, please visit http://www.lyfordcayfoundation.org/.
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February 12, 2014
I had heard in many discussions on television, that there is a decline throughout the world in the number of people who refer to themselves as Christians, and who actually practice the Christian faith. Now, whenever I hear any information like this these days, I always check the information which I obtained out, to make absolutely sure that it is in fact authentic. Well, lo and behold, it is indeed true that there is a major decline in the number of practicing Christians presently occupying planet earth. Incidentally, in today's world with the Internet being available to one and all, every single thing which I or anyone else states, can be checked out by simply googling it. How great it is to be able to use the Internet in such a productive way to check out information which is fed to us, to ascertain if it's accurate or not. So, the decline of Christianity is very real.Now I believe at this point, having established that it is indeed a fact, the burning question on everyone's mind must surely be ... "Why? Why is this happening right now?" I believe there are several reasons -- number one is the fact, that in this technological age, most people are exposed to much more information than they used to be in years gone by. Now this is indeed a good thing for it gets people thinking about what they were originally taught to believe from a religious perspective, by those who surrounded them when they were young. When one finally starts to freely think for oneself, and not as you've been programmed to think in your youth, then you become open to the truth. At that point, many opt not to continue believing in what their parents or guardians taught them.Of course, another factor which is contributing in large measure to the decline of Christianity worldwide, in my humble opinion, is the way in which a whole lot of so-called Christian people behave. That's right, there are a whole lot of so-called Christians, who when you dare to disagree with any of their teachings, become so extremely hostile and indeed very insulting telling you that you'll be dammed forever, and end up in that mythical place they believe in called hell. So, when people start to openly insult you, and also use fear mongering tactics, I honestly think that they too tend to push people further away from Christianity. Yes they do. Yes indeed, many people who are, in my opinion masquerading as Christians, are actually pushing millions away from believing any longer in Christianity as a viable spiritual belief system for them. So, you could quite rightly say, that Christians appear to be their own worst enemy.
o THINK ABOUT IT!
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.
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February 11, 2014
Despite being under a winter storm watch in Atlanta, Georgia, Bahamian media personality and publicist Arthia Nixon was able to read to the students of Eleuthera’s P.A. Gibson Primary School from her children’s book The Magic Grouper and Other Tales...
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February 10, 2014
After presentations from Mr John Rolle, Financial Secretary, representatives from Citizens for a better Bahamas, and taking into consideration the views of the BUT Executive Committee and members of the union, President Belinda Wilson...
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February 10, 2014
When 120 football players from four different Caribbean countries get together to play 36 matches in two days it can’t be anything other than a great experience for everyone...
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February 05, 2014
Research in the field of neuroscience, focusing on the relationship between music and the learning process has provided scientific insight into the melodic learning program which utilizes music as a captivating tool to enhance the learning process in the area of language arts, which includes linguistics, literacy, early learning and language skills. It is this program that has proven to be a positive one for the students at Columbus Primary School who continue to show remarkable improvements as a result of the "Tunein to Reading [TiR] Program" melodic learning program classes.
In October 2011, a workshop was held at Wendy's Fast Food Restaurants Ltd. headquarters, to introduce the melodic learning program to educators and to initiate a pilot program at selected schools, one of which was Columbus Primary. The workshop was conducted by representatives from the "Tunein to Reading Program" located in Tampa, Florida.
Columbus Primary School specialist teachers Brenda Plakaris and Delene Wilmott set out to identify strategies and methods of reaching the struggling readers in their school. They identified 90 students from third to fifth grades who were having major challenges and selected them to be a part of the pilot program that began October 31, 2011.
According to a report prepared by Plakaris and Wilmott in March 2012, to the targeted students, some of the immediate problems revealed was with comprehension for the students and that phonemic awareness was a major factor as well as effective listening for many of the students.
The teachers reported that many of the students had difficulty repeating correctly what they had heard. And that in comparison, for exceptionally high achievers selected from a fifth grade class of 38 students that the use of the program proved effective in further enhancing their reading, comprehension and listening skills. They also reported that they discovered that many students became more interested in music appreciation and developing their skills in the area. The educators reported that it was obvious that the program had inspired the students at all levels to be more creative.
The working definition of melodic learning is a multi-modal method of learning (both oral and aural); using the key elements of singing -- pitch, rhythm and rhyme and to facilitate the capture, storage and retrieval of information while learning.
Plakaris and Wilmott said the excitement and willingness of the students in the program had ignited a desire among other students to become a part of the sessions. As a result, in December 2011, another 86 students were added to the program, taking the total to 176 enthusiastic students who they said continue to show remarkable improvements as a result of the classes. The educators said the transformation that took place over the weeks and months with the program spoke volumes as to its effectiveness.
In reviewing the program the teachers noted the accelerated level of progress of the students who recently started the program in January 2012. And that many of the second grade students shocked themselves as they were able to read a fluency sheet at the fifth grade level.
Plakaris and Wilmott reported that the students are excited to log on to the site and put in extra minutes of singing as they see melodic learning as fun, but not realizing the impact it has upon their oral and written communication. The appealing jingles used in the program that are also known as "Earworms" appear to have positively impacted the students as they find themselves singing the songs constantly as if it is stuck in their minds and heads.
TiR has since spread into other schools around the island, and Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald has said that it is the way to teach children in kindergarten as it is the way they learn their alphabet and nursery rhymes.
"Tunein to Reading builds on something that we know works, but it takes it to another level with the incorporation of technology," said Fitzgerald at a recent "Tunein to Reading" teacher training session hosted by the Ministry of Education's northwestern and southwestern district superintendents, principals and administrators at the Melia Cable Beach Resort.
In attendance at the session was TiR founder Carlo Franzblau and Dr. Susan Homan, professor emerita at The University of South Florida.
"I am always amazed at how students can sing the latest Beyonce songs without missing a beat, but still have challenges in actually reading the words," Fitzgerald said.
"This shows us that singing can be a practical and effective method at the lower and upper primary school level."
The scientific teaching/learning tool uses music and technology to teach students and improve their reading ability. The award-winning reading intervention program was introduced in the government school system by Wendy's Fast Food Restaurants Ltd. proprietors, Chris and Terry Tsavoussis.
To date, Wendy's has invested $250,000 to provide laptops, headsets, software licensing and ongoing teacher training and IT support.
The company is seeking local partners to expand the reach of TiR throughout New Providence and into the Family Islands.
"Wendy's has displayed the power of true public private partnership [as] the government cannot do it by itself," said Fitzgerald.
"Wendy's has comes to the table with ideas, funding, TiR experts, manpower, technology, security, training and the hands-on involvement of their top brass."
TiR is the first literacy tool employed in the Wendy's and Marco's Pizza youth empowerment through education initiative, 'Mission: Educate Bahamas'.
TiR is specifically designed to assist struggling readers improve their word sight recognition, comprehension, reading fluency and literacy through a proven music-based methodology. Government primary school test groups in the northeastern and southeastern have demonstrated results of one to two years reading gains, after just nine weeks exposure to the program.
TiR was founded by Carlo Franzblau and was a software program which he developed to teach himself to sing called SingingCoach and introduced to the market in 2003. When early users of SingingCoach who happened to be struggling readers reported that their reading was improving significantly, Franzblau sought out a literacy researcher at the University of South Florida to do a study on the innovative, musical approach to helping students who struggle to read. After two years of research studies demonstrated the effectiveness of the singing approach to reading remediation, Franzblau and his team at Electronic Learning Products (ELP) set about modifying the SingingCoach product into a full-fledged reading intervention program. In the fall of 2006, ELP installed a TiR version 1.0 in a Tampa middle school and then participated in a 10-school pilot program that proved the effectiveness of the software as a reading intervention.
In 2007 TiR won the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Award. And in 2014, TiR is in over 500 schools across the United States.
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January 31, 2014
BAHAMAS Union of Teachers (BUT) president Belinda Wilson has filed a trade dispute against the government for allegedly "victimising physical education teachers" - and also claimed that female students had been pinched by a replacement coach...
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