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Literacy TRIUMPHS at Salazar Trace Government Primary

Atlantic and the ARROW Foundation collaborate for success

This article was featured in Trinidad Daily Express newspaper as an Advertorial, on Monday 27 March 2023

In an effort to contribute to the development of young minds, Atlantic and the ARROW Foundation began a project with Salazar Trace Government Primary School in early 2020. Due to the subsequent chaotic COVID-19 climate and continuous school closures, the implementation of the multisensory and computer-based ARROW literacy programme was disrupted. Faced with these limitations, the project, which involved 15 students, was transitioned into a virtual environment in 2021 to ensure that each child could continue to benefit.

Selected students from Salazar Trace Primary interact with the A.R.R.O.W. programme on ATLANTIC LNG funded laptops

Explaining the necessary re-evaluation was Founder and Director of the ARROW Foundation, Christopher Bonterre, "Because of challenges presented by the pandemic, we decided to step back and re-assess the programme. Ultimately, we decided it was prudent to wait for the return to class-based learning to ensure the students could truly reap the benefits of our literacy programme". March 2022 saw the return to school for Standard Five students and, despite required adjustments to return to a pre-pandemic routine, the ARROW tutors were able to re-engage with Salazar Trace pupils.

Because of the gaps presented during the stay-at-home measures, there was evident regression in terms of students' literacy skills. More than ever, Atlantic and the ARROW Foundation were determined to work with the children that needed the most support.

In May 2022, ARROW tutors conducted new assessments to determine each student's literacy level and then implemented Phase One of the project. This encompassed each child completing a specifically tailored eight-hour programme that covered reading, spelling and comprehension skills.

Salazar Trace students engage with A.R.R.O.W. programme on new laptops, Director Christopher Bonterre demonstrates the programme to a child

"The approach was one where each student would complete the full programme with pre- and post-assessments. Once they demonstrated evident improvement in their literacy and behaviour, we could move into Phase Two. The second phase entailed teachers from Salazar Trace Primary receiving ARROW-certified training to become qualified tutors. With these additional skills, they could implement the interactive learning programme themselves for five years" Bonterre explained.

Fast-forward to February 2023, and the ARROW Foundation is currently completing Phase One of the project. In order to fast-track the dramatic progress made, Phase Two was done simultaneously, and teachers from SalazarTrace Primary were trained as ARROW tutors in the last quarter of 2022.

On 1 February 2023, representatives from the ARROW Foundation and Salazar Trace Primary School came together for a ceremony that marked the official handover of Atlantic­ sponsored laptops with the ARROW software pre-installed. The event also recognised the project's ultimate success despite significant setbacks.

Bonterre noted, "The principal, teachers and parents were really receptive and supportive and got students fully engaged in the programme. The ARROW Foundation is thankful to be working with Atlantic and Salazar Trace Gov't Primary School. This collaboration has helped to shape the school into a place that welcomes and supports all types of learners. What we have created is an educational model for schools across the nation to follow".

Far Left: Principal Mr. Sareem, A.R.R.O.W trained teachers Ms Sookram-Supersad and Mr. Maurice Heeraman and Ms. Mahabir, with A.R.R.O.W Director Christopher Bonterre stand with students participating in the literacy programme.

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