There’s something new and exciting in Grenada that all parents should know about. It’s an answer to their hidden concerns about what Covid-19 lockdowns and school closures have done to their children’s education.
The remedy comes from Grenada’s new Chrysalis Education and Business Centre in Springs, St George. It’s a full-service centre for education and business development that tests for students’ weaknesses in school and then fixes them. There’s a section for kids and a section for adults. Their goal is to identify areas where students are lagging behind and put them through time-tested and effective programmes that build skills quickly… and it’s working.
Many might want to take advantage of their online literacy/reading classes for children or adults, but the Centre also teaches math, English, spelling, punctuation, writing, science, social studies, computing and other subjects from grade 1 to CXC. A full listing of their courses can be found on their website at cebcgrenada.com.
So, what makes this Centre’s approach to teaching different? Here are a few things:
- Their expert pre-testing that matches students’ present knowledge to exact curriculums that build skills
- Their cameras-on policy for teachers and students during online classes
- The training of teachers to solicit feedback from students, even from those who don’t volunteer to speak
- Their “3-strikes-your-out-of-the-programme” homework policy; and
- Their emphasis on discipline and quality work
“It’s definitely a programme for parents and students who aim high,” says the Centre’s director, Novia John. “Lack of commitment to completing homework assignments (which we ensure are manageable for students) will end a person’s registration in the programme.”
The Centre’s classes, which started last November, are producing excellent results, not just academically, but also in terms of student motivation. A form 4 student in the programme commented enthusiastically that he has learned things at the Centre that he simply had never been taught in school, in math and English A.
A parent called the Centre to give praises, stating that, in her opinion, it is the best programme of its type in the country. She said that her child has responded with way more enthusiasm toward his learning than she had expected and that she had been recommending the programme to others!
The Chrysalis Centre is a Christian-based programme and is an initiative of Stanford Simon, pastor of the St George’s Baptist Church. “It’s part of our mission to fulfil the needs of humanity and build communities,” said Simon. “We want to see Grenada function at its highest potential by advancing the education of the nation — especially at a time like this when students have already been through so much with Covid.”
“Our mission is to create a group of students who will become the national standard of excellence in the country,” added John. “It’s an holistic approach. There’s no point in working toward academic excellence without working toward personal excellence that will affect work ethic and leadership potential.”
John, who was the founder of the former Higher Marks Educational Centre which operated for over 20 years in St George’s, said, “I was happy to accept a leadership position at the Chrysalis Centre so that I could use my prior experience to really launch the programme forward.”
“Over the past 2 years of dealing with Covid-19, many students in the country simply did not have access to stable internet or electronic devices that would allow them to learn consistently; and many parents know in their hearts that their children now need help. Some parents might be tempted to think that since their kids are back in school now, the teachers will take care of whatever deficiencies their children have, but they should know that the nation’s teachers can only do so much with the limited time remaining in the year. Everybody has to work together to combat what has happened to the children. It’s not the teachers’ fault, and it’s not up to them alone to fix it,” said John. “Parents should do whatever they can to assist their children in catching up, even if it means getting them extra help.”
Online classes at the Centre usually start at 4:30 pm, 6 pm, or 7:30 pm, although there are some classes earlier in the day.
The Centre’s literacy/reading programmes for various ages make use of the ProPhonics Reading System®, which has been proven to advance reading levels at a rapid rate.
Not only does the Centre cater to those still in school, but to adults as well. In fact, the Centre currently has a sizeable proportion of adult clientele taking courses online. “It doesn’t matter if the adult is a beginner or advanced in a subject. The Centre has 3-month courses that will advance their skills and lead to a certificate. “There are adults out there who cannot read, due to no fault of their own,” said John. “Some had to leave school early for a variety of reasons, even though they would have preferred to remain. The Chrysalis Centre is a place where any adult can be tested and take classes (online at the moment) with other adults who are at their same level. It’s a safe and confidential place to begin learning again. It’s never too late to advance in life.”
The name “Chrysalis” comes from the name of the pouch within which a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly — hence the Centre’s motto of “Transforming Lives from the Inside Out”.
The Business Centre
The Chrysalis Centre also caters to those in the business sector, not only through teaching Principles of Business and Principles of Accounts, but also through its business development groups and the National Leadership Training Academy (NLTA) that has benefited from the teaching expertise of Allan Forte from People Programmes Inc., a professional business coaching and leadership company in Texas, USA. The NLTA, which is now a part of the CEBC, has graduated about 150 Grenadians to date.
A drive past the Centre in Springs reveals that construction is ongoing. This is because of their plans to expand the facility to include a daycare, children’s reading room, banquet facilities and farmer’s market. Even though classes are not currently being held on site, the facility’s meeting and conference room services are available for public rental.
As we begin to heal from the last 2 years, our children, and nation at large, deserve the best chance to rebound and succeed. The Chrysalis Centre is helping Grenada do just that! They can be reached at 457-6463 or 403-3530.