The Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development (AID) Bank, in a display of its commitment to human resource development in Dominica, presented a cheque of $3,300.00 to the Pottersville–based Achievement Learning Center (ALC) on Wednesday 18 December. The proceeds will be used for the establishment of a Life-Centered Career Education (LCCE) curriculum, which will complement the traditional programmes offered to ALC’s special needs students.
“Our goal at ALC is to graduate productive, independent, fulfilled individuals who can function successfully as fully-participating members of the community,” says ALC head Ms. Beverly Leblanc.
Designed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) based in Arlington Virginia, the LCCE programme is a research-based alternative approach created specifically for students who have learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and students whose ability to live independently is in question.
LCCE identifies three critical domains which equip the individual with tools to be effective in the 21st century. The Daily Living Skills teach the students how to manage personal finances, household and personal needs and family life. The Self-Determination and Interpersonal Skills help students to develop self-awareness, self-confidence, socially-responsible behavior, independence, decision-making and effective communication skills. The Employment Skills open the door to employment possibilities and choices for the students by teaching them appropriate work habits, how to seek and maintain employment, physical and manual skills and specific job competencies. The programme also features an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that determines each student’s competency level and allows for tracking of their individual progress.
The donated AID Bank funds will be used to purchase the license for the computer-based curriculum through the CEC. Proceeds will also go towards the networking of the computer room for internet access.
AID Bank General Manager, Julius J. Corbett, who presented the cheque to ALC student Cameron Augustine, sees this donation as upholding the bank’s mandate to develop Dominica through its human capacity. “There are few institutions catering to our special needs students. We are therefore very proud to recognise the ALC for their unique contribution to national development through the LCCE programme,” he stated at the handing-over ceremony.
Presently, there are 6 full-time and 18 part-time students at ALC, with a staff of four- including one Peace Corps volunteer. Full time students attend morning sessions during the school year, while part-time students (who may attend other schools) attend afternoon sessions where they receive homework assistance and afterschool classes. The center also has a summer programme which runs for six weeks. ALC was established in 2009.